2008_10_traders27.jpgStocks were expected to fall this morning, as Asian markets were significantly down (Nikkei -6%, Hong Kong -13%, Shanghai -6%) as are the European markets, but U.S. new home sales rose unexpectedly in September by 2.7%, so stocks declined less severely than thought for this morning. Bloomberg News said that sales were "propelled by a drop in prices ahead of the latest turmoil in financial markets."

Stocks are down about 1% now. The director of floor operations at UBS, Art Cashin, told CNBC, “It’s a little crazy again today. I wish we could see a little more signs of panic. It’s the last Monday in October, it’s a perfect day for it if we could really get ‘em to throw ‘em out the window, this could be important today.”

The Dow's downward spiral has spawned a race to forecast the economy--one former Yale professor who studied economic forecasting tells the NY Times, "To make a crazy forecast today is not crazy. It's not crazy to predict the Dow is going to 2,000. That's in the realm of possibiity."

In Treasury Department news, the new game in D.C. to lobbying for bailout money. Also, 14 more banks have signed up for bailout money, including PNC, Capital One, and State Street.