Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wall Street falls sharply as investors ponder impact of Obama presidency on business and the economy

A case of post-election nerves sent stocks plunging Wednesday as investors, again anxious about a recession, began questioning what impact a Barack Obama presidency will have on business and the overall economy. Stocks fell initially as investors cashed in gains after a six-day run that lifted the Standard & Poor's 500 index more than 18%. But the selling picked up momentum as the market worried anew about the weakness of the economy and pondered what an Obama administration might do. Obama will inherit an enormous budget deficit when he is sworn in Jan. 20, 2009. Analysts said that the market is already growing anxious about whom Obama selects as the next Treasury Secretary, as well as whom he picks for other Cabinet positions. "A lot of the policy going forward is going to have an effect on the various sectors of the market," said Joe Keetle, senior wealth manager for Dawson Wealth Management. Obama's victory means that industries such as oil and gas producers, utilities and pharmaceuticals may face greater regulation and even taxes, while labor unions and automakers are expected to benefit. In addition, banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and the rest of the financial sector will almost certainly face attempts at a regulatory overhaul by the Democratic Congress in 2009.

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