COMMENTS: Stock Rebound Fails to Calm Recession Fears

Good news/Bad news on the economic front. ABC led with the good news, as stock prices reversed an early slump to finish with Wall Street's biggest trading gains of an otherwise negative new year. NBC and CBS led with the bad news, that consumer spending is sagging despite this one day of financial resilience. The gloomy prospect of looming recession was Story of the Day.

ABC's Betsy Stark (embargoed link) offered the play-by-play on stock market action that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average swing from a 325 point loss to a 298 point gain in a matter of hours, closing at 12270: "Even the pros were amazed at the extraordinary about-face…whiplash, rollercoaster…choose your metaphor…at midday for no obvious reason the buyers started to appear." On CBS, Anthony Mason countered with a gloomy forecast from Merrill Lynch of "the worst consumer recession since 1980" and a continued real estate slump that will drive home prices down 25% over the next two years. CNBC's Carl Quintanilla chimed in on NBC with slowing sales by Apple and Motorola and a pricecutting experiment at Starbucks to offer coffee for $1 by making the cup smaller.


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