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Wall Street Roundup: S&P scrutiny. The Goldman switch.

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Gold: Trading now at $1,816 per ounce, up 1.3% from Monday. Dow Jones industrial average: Trading now at 10945.36, down 4.1% from Monday.

Another descent. Just as the markets seemed to be stabilizing a bit, a couple of disappointing economic reports sent stocks down fast this morning. It didn’t help that Morgan Stanley economists said the country is ‘dangerously close’ to a recession.

Fearing Europe. The American branches of European banks are allegedly getting a closer look as regulators worry about the woes of the European economy spreading to these shores.

S&P scrutiny. The Justice Department is allegedly looking at whether Standard & Poor’s allowed business imperatives to cloud its judgment about mortgage-backed securities before the crisis. The probe apparently started before S&P downgraded the U.S. government.

The Goldman switch. A former Goldman Sachs employee changed his name before joining the office of a California congressman, where he has helped argue Goldman’s case against new regulations.

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-- Nathaniel Popper

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