Wall Street got hammered Monday following growing concerns over the financial health of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as shares of the two mortgage giants dropped more than 20 percent to their lowest levels in nearly 20 years.

This story first appeared in the August 19, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled by 180.51 points, or 1.6 percent, to 11,479.4. The S&P 500 fell to 1,278.60, down 19.60, or 1.5 percent, while the S&P Retail Index declined to 393.74, falling 6.58, or 1.6 percent. Few retailers escaped the carnage. The few that did included Tween Brands, up 48 cents, or 5 percent, to close at $10; American Apparel Inc., which saw its shares climb to $8.59, up 39 cents, or 4.8 percent, and New York & Company, rising to $10.56, up 33 cents, or 3.2 percent. Another was American Eagle Outfitters, which rose 17 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $14.42.

Among the decliners were J. Crew Group Inc., which ended the trading session at $26.57, down $1.27, or 4.6 percent, and Aérospostale Inc, which closed at $34.71, down $1.15, or 3.2 percent. Department store retailer Bon-Ton Stores Inc. ended the day at $5.37, down 23 cents, or 4.1 percent. NexCen Brands Inc, which owns the Bill Blass brand, saw its shares rise 14 cents, or 40 percent, to 49 cents in its first day of trading following the company’s announcement Friday that its chief executive officer Robert D’Loren had resigned.


*Editor’s note: European stocks are quoted in the currency of their principal exchanges. Shares on the London Stock Exchange are quoted in pence, Richemont and The Swatch Group are quoted in Swiss francs and Hennes & Mauritz is quoted in Swedish kronor. All other European stocks are in euros.