Out with The Old, In with the Blue

Financial markets gyrate as anxieties over the economy rise

Ushered in with upbeat forecasts and a general mood of economic confidence, 1987 went out on a harsh note of uncertainty and apprehension. Last week the dollar went the way of the New Year's Eve ball in Times Square -- down. Its descent pummeled the stock market and fanned fears about America's economic future. Retailers said consumers were cautious during the Christmas shopping season. The usual last-minute buying surge averted a disaster, yet sales in November and December were lackluster at best.

Most troubling was the continuing decline of the dollar, which hit its lowest level in more than 40 years...

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