Wall Street is just a shell of what it was 12 months ago. The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 42 percent since last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about eight percent, and there is a big hole in the ground as a reminder of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
People are trading stocks less. By August, monthly volume on the Nasdaq National Market was off 41 percent from the beginning of the year -- and that was even before the attacks that left thousands dead and a nation on edge.
Baltimore has been hit hard as well by the market volatility and uncertainty. Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., Legg Mason Inc., T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown Inc. have laid off hundreds of workers this year -- most in the brokerage and capital markets divisions -- to cut costs in light of falling revenues and earnings.
Despite the slowdown, and massive layoffs across the country to boot, local stock brokers say they are trying to take advantage of the situation the best they can. After all, they say, Wall Street doesn't shut down just …