Stocks plunge for third straight session

November 12, 2008 1:08:56 PM PST
A disheartened Wall Street has suffered its third straight loss, as investors absorbed more dismal corporate reports and news that the government won't buy banks' soured mortgage assets after all. The Dow Jones industrial fell about 410 points to the 8,283 level, and all the major indexes fell more than 4 percent.

Macy's Inc. reported a sharp drop in sales, Best Buy Co. slashed its 2009 outlook on fears that consumer spending will keep eroding, and Morgan Stanley outlined plans to cut 10 percent of staff in its institutional securities group.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the government's $700 billion financial rescue package won't be purchasing banks' troubled assets, and will instead buy stakes in the banks.