President Bush Speaks on Ailing Economy

Friday address marks 10th time Bush has recently spoken on volatile markets.

ByABC News
October 10, 2008, 10:07 AM

Oct. 10, 2008 — -- President Bush tried to reassure the nation today that the economy is strong enough to weather the current crisis, but by the time Bush stopped speaking nine minutes later, the market had dropped another 107 points.

The president's encouraging words have historically been able to boost the market, but in the current economic crisis, Bush's ability to instill confidence has been mixed at best.

Speaking after the Dow opened down 200 points this morning and as the numbers continued to drop, this morning's address marked the 10th time the president has spoken on the issue since news of the bailout plan first surfaced.

Following the previous nine times the president specifically addressed the economic crisis, the market ended the day on an upturn on five occasions and closed down the other four.

This morning the president told Americans that "the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets."

"We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal," he said. "We're using these tools aggressively."

Despite repeated assurances to Americans that they should be confident and that economic officials are aggressively taking action to stabilize the financial system, things haven't been improving.

Friday morning began on a gloomy note, and immediately following the president's speech, negative patterns were apparent. The Dow was down 78.70 at the beginning of the president's statement but dropped to 185.66 by the end of his address.

The Dow dipped Friday morning below the 8000 mark for the first time since March 2003, and overnight global markets in Asia and Europe experienced more sharp drops.

Bush was forthcoming in his Friday morning statement, acknowledging Americans are deeply unsettled.

"Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market -- much of it driven by uncertainty and fear," he said. "This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being."

Still, Bush also expressed hope about his meeting with G-7 finance ministers this weekend in an effort to coordinate a global response to the spreading fiscal nightmare.

"Through these efforts, the world is sending an unmistakable signal," the president said this morning. "We're in this together, and we'll come through this together."

Oct. 3: Market closed down 370, Dow at 9955
Sept. 30: Market closed up 485, Dow at 10850
Sept. 29: Market closed down 777, Dow at 10365
Sept. 26: Market closed up 121, Dow at 11143
Sept. 25: Market closed up 196, Dow at 11022
Sept. 24: Market closed down 29, Dow at 10825
Sept. 19: Market closed up 368, Dow at 11388
Sept. 18: Market closed up 410, Down at 11019

ABC News' Jen Duck contributed to this report.