Stocks fall following credit concerns


NEW YORK -- Wall Street plunged anew Friday, hurtling the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 280 points after comments from a Bear Stearns executive reinvigorated the market's fears of a widening credit crunch.

The huge drop was a fitting end to two extraordinarily volatile weeks on Wall Street and followed back-to-back triple digit gains in the Dow. This time, the catalyst for a sharp skid was Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Financial Officer Sam Molinaro, who described conditions in the credit market as the worst he'd seen in more than two decades.

According to preliminary calcuations, the Dow fell 283.62, or 2.11%, to 13,179.71.

Broader stock indicators also slid. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 39.34, or 2.67%, to 1,432.86, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 64.73, or 2.51%, to 2,511.25.

The session also saw a notable rise in the bond market, as investors fled to the relative safety of fixed-income investments. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.70% from 4.77% late Thursday. Bond prices move opposite yields.