The Dow Jones industrial average sank 358.41 points, or 3.03 percent, to end unofficially at 11,453.42 while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 38.82 points, or 2.94 percent, to end unofficially at 1,283.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 79.89 points, or 3.33 percent, to close unofficially at 2,321.37.Not only that but oil futures hit a new high as well:
Oil futures shot above $140 Thursday after OPEC's president said crude prices could rise well above $150 a barrel this year and Libya said it may cut oil production. The advance raised the likelihood that gasoline prices would also extend their advance, and that prices of goods and services throughout the economy would also keep rising.The good news, if there is any, is that George Bush owns it in the view of most Americans. People realize the economy is a disaster and spiraling down in flames. They see it at the gas pump. They see it at the grocery. They see it in their home values. The see it everywhere they turn and the American people blame George Bush. It is also germane here to remind everyone that McBush wants to do it all the same way and he has said more than once that the economy is not his strong suit. What more do you need to know?
Light, sweet crude crossed the $140 level minutes before the New York Mercantile Exchange closed Thursday, then retreated slightly to settle up $5.09 at a record $139.64. In after-hours electronic trading, prices rose as high as a record $140.39.
Three out of four Americans, including large numbers of Republicans, blame President Bush's economic policies for making the country worse off during the last eight years, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released Wednesday, reflecting a sharp increase in public pessimism during the last year.
Nine percent of respondents said the country's economic condition had improved since Bush became president, compared with 75% who said conditions had worsened. Among Republicans, 42% said the country was worse off, while 26% said it was about the same, and 22% thought economic conditions had improved.