After yesterday's alarm bells, the reassuring fact that nothing much happened on Wall Street qualified as headline news. Stable trading on the stock exchanges--the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained less than one half of one percent--was the Story of the Day. CBS made stocks its lead and gave them the full treatment. NBC filed a brief stand-up to lead off before turning to the wider economy. ABC chose the war in Afghanistan as its lead instead.

CBS' Anthony Mason heard a "deep sigh of relief" on Wall Street, "hardly a blistering rebound but it stopped the bleeding--at least for now…Bottom line, the market may not be out of the woods yet. Corrections usually take weeks or months, not days or hours." For perspective, ABC's Betsy Stark (subscription required) offered some definitions: a 20% decline in prices is a "crash"; 10% is a "correction"; yesterday's was 3%.. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo offered a brief summary from near the floor of the NYSE, crediting the "comforting words" of Chairman Benjamin Bernanke of the Federal Reserve Board for the return of stability.

Both ABC and CBS followed up with features on the retail investor. CBS' Byron Pitts took a traditional route, sampling the vox pop in Summit NJ. A dentist told him that he was not nervous about the stock market: he is "much more worried about the planet and the human race." ABC's Robert Krulwich (subscription required) offered his usual offbeat style, complete with funny voices and cartoon drawings, to explain the psychological reason why most human beings fail to cut their losses in the stock market: "Emotionally it is hard to sell a losing stock" so we end up with "a portfolio lopsided with losers."


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