Spooked On The Street

Is the economic expansion over? Investors fear the worst, as companies from industrial stalwarts 3M and Caterpillar to high-tech goliaths Motorola and Novell to auto giant Chrysler fail to meet Wall Street's earnings predictions for the third quarter. Little wonder that stock markets have been jittery, posting precipitous drops on record volume, then clinging to fragile recoveries.

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