Country Has New President, Same Market

Traders paused at times during President's speech, but they continued to unload stocks.

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Here in Washington today, the massive crowd filing onto the National Mall seemed certain of the power of change--momentous, all-consuming change. But on Wall Street, today's mood was a bit different. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 332 points today on worries about the health of the nation's banking sector. Wall Streeters apparently couldn't afford to be swept up by the new family's entry into the White House.

From the AP: "Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange paused at times to watch the inauguration ceremony and Obama's remarks, but the transition of power didn't erase investors' intensifying concerns about the struggling economy."

The FT quoted a senior Wall Street banker as saying: “Investors are deeply concerned that the US government might follow the lead of the UK and come in with a rescue package that hurts shareholders by wiping out companies’ shares."

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