Financial leaders end talks with ideas, but no solutions
Financial officials from the world's richest nations and major emerging economies ended a round of talks Wednesday with common-sense ideas for strengthening global financial systems but no firm response to current problems.
The participating delegations from the Group of 20 19 countries including the United States, along with the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank called for measures to help reduce the vulnerability of developed and emerging economies to future crises.
The delegates agreed to push "social safety nets" to protect the poor during the economic liberalization process in emerging economies and to promote domestic policies that would spread benefits of globalization throughout society.
Nortel pulls down Nasdaq
Stocks fell sharply Wednesday, pulling the Nasdaq composite index down 190 points, as disappointing revenue figures from Nortel Networks reawakened investors' worries about earnings.
Nortel's bad news also sent other fiber-optics stocks tumbling, which propelled the Nasdaq down 190.22, or nearly 5.6 percent, to 3,229.57. It was the Nasdaq's largest one-day point drop since a 217.87-point slide on April 17.
The Dow Jones industrial average alternated between positive and negative territory throughout the day, closing down 66.59 at 10,326.48 and ending a four-day rally.
PlayStation2 makes American debut today
Sony's eagerly anticipated PlayStation2 video game console goes on sale today in North America. The launch, which includes 26 new game titles, is considered the most ambitious in the industry's history and the $299 console is expected to be a top seller.
But the leader in the worldwide $20 billion video game market admits it won't be able to meet initial demand.
Rivals already are on the attack.
Next year, Microsoft, armed with a $500 million worldwide marketing budget, will launch its Xbox video game player, and Nintendo will unveil GameCube.
Stock markets discourage home buyers in September
Americans bought fewer homes in September as stock market turbulence and surging oil prices discouraged prospective buyers, economists said. Even with the dip, existing-home sales are on track to turn in another stellar year.
Sales of previously occupied single-family homes slipped 2.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.