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Wall Street collapses as fears mount
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Wall Street plummeted again Wednesday with Dow Jones losing 450 points, as investors became more worried that the financial crisis would continue to deteriorate.

U.S. stocks Wednesday's plunge was like a rerun of Monday's nose-dive as investors flighted to commodities like crude and gold to seek safety.

American International Group Inc. lost nearly 50 percent in early trading, The world's largest insurer acquired an 85 billion U.S. dollars loan from the U.S. government late Tuesday. In return, the government will get a 79.9 percent stake in AIG and the right to remove senior management.

Merrill Lynch & Co. indexes showed that corporate borrowing costs soared to a record in the United States. Financials were among the worst performers. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the two largest U.S. securities firms, tumbled after Oppenheimer cut profit estimates. Merrill Lynch also reduced fourth-quarter profit estimate for Morgan Stanley.

In addition, homebuilders suffered after the U.S. Commerce Department said housing starts slumped 6.2 percent last month to the fewest since January 1991. The reading spurred concern that the housing slump will continue to weigh on the nation's economic growth.

The Dow Jones slid 449.36 to 10,609.66. Broader indexes also end sharply lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 57.20 to 1,156.39 and the Nasdaq plunged 109.05 to 2,098.85.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2008)

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