Ted Weisberg, floor trader with Seaport Securities, was less dire. "Like getting a cold or whatever it happens to be ... sometimes you just have to let things run their course," he said. Fear has gotten a hold of the market and emotion is driving the market. Stocks eventually will be oversold if they haven't reached that level already, said Weisberg. "Unfortunately, they don't ring a bell and tell us when we're going up," he said. "Market conditions like this create more opportunities than you can shake a stick at. You just have to have a little patience." On the home-loan front, Bank of America ( BAC) announced it would modify about 400,000 mortgages to help borrowers who had taken out loans from Countrywide Financial, which BofA acquired on July 1. Insurance company Hartford Financial ( HIG) said it garnered a $2.5 billion investment from Allianz, is reducing its dividend and will register a third-quarter loss. Outside the financials, Reuters reported that ImClone ( IMCL) agreed to a merger with Eli Lilly ( LLY). Among technology stocks, online auctioneer eBay ( EBAY) said it would be cutting its staff by 10% and would buy online payment processor Bill Me Later. In the commodities space, the price of crude oil was down $3.53 to $90.35 a barrel, and gold was climbing $42.10 to $875.30 an ounce. Longer-term U.S. Treasury securities were climbing in price. The 10-year was up 22/32 to yield 3.52%, and the 30-year was climbing 1-20/32, yielding 4%. Overseas markets were broadly falling. The FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were each down more than 5.8%. Asian exchanges , including Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, closed on the downside.