9: 15 a.m. The tension this morning is high. It seems like the world is waiting to see what the U.S. House of Representatives decides to do today.
Russia shut down one of its leading stock exchanges three times today to stem a free-fall in shares, a decline triggered by growing concerns about the global economy.

But the news since then has been more encouraging. The Dow was up nearly 200 points on news the House was close to reaching an agreement and possibly could have a vote this afternoon. You can bet this time a vote won’t be held unless Speaker Nancy Pelosi is certain she has the votes to see it through. She won’t make that mistake twice.

Meanwhile, investors also are encouraged by news that Wells Fargo will be taking over Wachovia. Why? Because this is the first rescue plan in a while that was not orchestrated by federal officials or was lubricated with federal money. The free market is showing that it’s still alive.

– Paul Gullixson