On Thursday, the Treasury Department said it was actively looking at buying equity stakes in some of the country's banks, in order to inject capital directly into the troubled financial system.
But the market registered a vote of no confidence anyway. The Dow closed down 687 points Thursday -- off over 2,200 in the previous seven trading sessions.
Credit remained in a deep freeze; the level of outstanding commercial paper fell by $56.4 billion, or 3.5%, in just the past week, to $1.55 trillion.
U.S. automakers were also on the ropes, after Standard & Poor's said that it was putting both GM and Ford on credit watch negative. Shares of GM closed down 31% to $4.76, while Ford fell nearly 22% to $2.08, effectively putting two American industrial icons on death watch. NEXT: Friday, October 10 - Vertigo