HEADLINE

August 20, 2008 1:15:47 PM PDT
Wall Street has scored a moderate gain after a volatile session that saw the major indexes ratchet up and down on the seesawing price of oil and mixed feelings about the financial sector. Concerns about mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had initially dragged down the financial sector. Wall Street is nervous that the government-chartered companies will need a bailout from the Treasury Department, a move that could wipe out shareholders' equity.

But financial stocks are cheap right now, and many traders are hoping a bailout of Fannie and Freddie would start to mend some of the problems plaguing the mortgage markets. Many banks and brokerages saw renewed buying late in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up about 68 points at the 11,417 level.


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