How did the failure of Bear Stearns affect stock prices?
In a simple sense, the failure of Bear Stearns had a negative effect on stock prices. When a major bank such as Bear Stearns (which had been in business since the great depression) fails, consumer confidence is lowered significantly. Investors lose confidence in the stock market as well. As they lose confidence, it is common to sell assets. As assets are sold, the entire market is flooded with supply. When the supply is very high and the demand is very low, stock prices are forced down.