Updated from 10:40 a.m. ESTShares of mortgage giants Freddie Mac ( FRE) and Fannie Mae ( FNM) are getting spanked in trading, after the former posted a $2 billion third-quarter loss Tuesday morning. Freddie shares were plummeting almost 29% after announcing before the opening bell that it may need to cut its dividend by 50% and seek out additional sources of capital. The so-called government-sponsored entities, which purchase residential mortgages and mortgage related securities, hired Goldman Sachs ( GS) and Lehman Brothers ( LEH) to help it hit the Street for fresh funds. "We do not believe it would be wise to be sanguine about the intermediate-term housing market," said CEO Richard Syron during Freddie's third-quarter earnings call. He added, however, that he still remains positive about the long-term opportunities for shareholders. The comments did little to quell investor fears, which sent Freddie shares down $10.85 to $26.65. Its bigger peer, government-sponsored entity Fannie Mae, which found itself having to defend its accounting practices after a media report suggested it had changed the way it accounted for losses last week, also was down almost 24% to $29.75. McLean, Va.-based Freddie said it would need to set aside $1.2 billion in the third quarter to account for bad home loans, prompting the nation's second-largest guarantor of home mortgages to seek additional sources of capital. The quarterly loss equated to $3.29 a share. In the same period a year earlier, Freddie Mac lost $715 million, or $1.17 a share.