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Thursday, Oct. 2 - Wait and see
Thursday, Oct. 2 - Wait and see
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-MI, speaks at a news conference held by House Republicans who remain opposed to the financial bailout package on October 2, 2008 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
The House took a day to mull the Senate's sweetened financial rescue bill before a Friday vote, and the legislation's prospects improved, although there were still hold outs (see photo, right).

Meanwhile, investors feared that the economy needed a boost beyond the government's plan. Economic reports showed signs of continued weakness Thursday. Weekly jobless claims soared to a seven-year high Thursday, alarming investors ahead of Friday's big monthly report. And factory orders slumped to a 2-year low.

Fearing a weakening economy would further quash demand for petroleum products, oil prices fell more than $4. The Dow closed down 348 points.

Fears of a recession only made the stranglehold on credit even tighter. Key measures of lending showed banks hoarding cash with an historically high aversion to risk.

As a result, analysts and economists began to predict that the Federal Reserve would cut its key funds rate by as much as a half percentage point to boost liquidity in the markets, in an attempt to stave off a recession.

NEXT: Friday, Oct. 3 - Bailout becomes law
Last updated September 14 2009: 2:19 PM ET
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