Meltdown

Downsized Nation

The week is off to a rough start on Wall Street as a slew of companies announced large job cuts this morning: Caterpillar is eliminating 20,000 jobs and lowering its earnings forecast because of the recession; Pfizer is firing 15% of its staff—or 19,000 people—after its acquisition of Wyeth is completed; Home Depot is cutting 7,000 jobs and closing its expo design centers; Sprint Nextel is slashing 8,000 jobs in an effort to save $1.2 billion; and Royal Philips Electronics will axe 6,000 positions. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, Republicans are balking at President Obama's stimulus plan.