Wall Street Down Fourth Week in a Row

Elspeth Reeve

Wall Street closed down for the fourth week in a row as investors fear the U.S. could be heading toward another recession and Europe's financial system is in turmoil, Reuters' Ashley Lau reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 173 points, or 1.57 percent, to 10818. The S&P 500 dropped 17 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1124 -- meaning its lost 13.1 percent in August, meaning it's on track to be the worst month since October 2008. The Nasdaq fell 39 points, or 1.62 percent, to 2,342. And it's not just the American market -- Friday saw financial losses worldwide, The New York Times' Christine Hauser reports.

There are several reasons for the loses -- totaling 4 percent for the week. A bad outlook caused Hewlett-Packard stock to lose 20 percent, its worst day since the 1987 crash. New data raised the possibility of " stagflation" -- rising inflation combined with high unemployment. Plus, Washington's taking time off. "Just as importantly, any important policy makers that can come up with anything constructive are on vacation," Seth Setrakian, co-head of United States equities at First New York,  told Hauser. "So what good news can come over the weekend?"

Todd Colvin, vice president at MF Global, told The Wall Street Journal, "Investor angst remains very high. Good volume associated with a down move typically isn't a fluke. We're probably in store for lower prices from here."