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On Wall Street, stock trading was at its worst today since Sept. 11, 2001, after news of slides in Chinese stocks and U.S. durable goods.

Some analysts are also linking the drop to unease in the subprime mortgage market. From the New York Times story on the events of the day:

Experts noted that three factors appeared to have stoked the panic on Wall Street today. The situation in China and a weak report on durable goods orders in the United States were likely the two major factors. But nervousness over the possible economic impact of rising defaults among high-risk borrowers, known as subprime borrowers because their credit histories are often spotty, was also adding to the unease, analysts said.

This subprime mortgage thing is pesky; earlier this afternoon I wrote about another mortgage giant, Freddie Mac, tightening its regulations for mortgage borrowers with less-than-stellar credit.

If you haven’t had a chance, check out our story on the local impacts of increased foreclosures and risky loans.

KELLY BENNETT

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