The Economy: Ready for Escalation

Nervous and emotional, uncertain and perhaps a bit illogical, the stock market lost another $8 billion in paper values last week. Small investors sold more shares than they bought; big institutions stuffed their steadily rising funds into safer, short-term Treasury bills or corporate bonds and just waited. The Dow-Jones industrial average fell for four days in a row, struggled up just a bit in the final session, and closed at 864—down 16½ points for the week.* Everybody on Wall Street was waiting for news from Washington and looking for a firmer fix on three uncertainties that overhang the market:...

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