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Another downward session on Wall Street

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It's another downward session on Wall Street. Stocks are continuing their plunge for a sixth straight session, with the Dow industrials registering the third consecutive triple-digit loss. At least at an amusement park you can close your eyes for a few minutes, scream at the top of your lungs and know the ride will be over in a matter of minutes. If only the same were true of the rollercoaster that is Wall Street this week. Alan Skrainka with Edward Jones Research said, "It's another bad day on the market because investors have a lot of questions. They're trying to figure out who has these bad loans, how big are they and how might it affect the rest of us." Down more than 10 percent from the height of the ride in July, the Dow has joined the ranks of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The fall below the 12,600 level Thursday afternoon signaled a market correction, but analysts say it doesn't have to equate to a white-knuckle experience. Skrainka said, "Corrections in the market are normal, frequent, and not a good reason to sell good investments. It simply means the market is pulling back after a run up of almost 100 percent." Financial experts say the market was due for a correction, a decline of ten percent or more. The Dow hasn't seen one since late 2002. Most of the finger-pointing is largely aimed at sub-prime mortgages -- also getting blamed for agitating the nation's credit market. And just when it seemed investors might shake that pit in the bottom of the stomach sensation, the mortgage lender countrywide fueled the freefall. The plummet gained speed with word that countrywide is struggling to raise money and tapping into its reserves while the Federal Reserve is adding billions of its own. Alec Young with Standard & Poors said, "When you have the Federal Reserve taking action, while that is encouraging on the one hand, it hasn't really been able to stabilize the markets because it validates people's fears." If history is any indication, an upswing isn't far behind a correction -- especially when the country's economy is in good shape. The blue chips looked bluer than usual just after noon Thursday, when the Dow dipped below the 12,600 level, initially signaling a market correction. But a rebound of sorts just before the market close.

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