The Clarion-Ledger, 10/29/8

An impatient White House prodded banks and other financial companies Tuesday to quit hoarding billions of dollars flowing into their vaults from Washington and start making more loans. Wall Street soared nearly 900 points on bargain-hunting and hopes of a hefty interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The stock market’s amazing climb, with its second-largest point gain ever, was a welcome burst of good news for a nation suffering big job losses and seemingly tumbling into a painful recession.

Consumer pessimism reached record levels in October amid rising unemployment, plunging home prices and shrinking retirement and investment accounts. The Conference Board, a private research group, said consumer confidence fell to its lowest point since it began tracking consumer sentiment in 1967.