NEW YORK — Wall Street's top securities houses, taking a cue from a $1-billion offer by Goldman Sachs & Co. to help ailing mutual funds, said today they have the financial muscle to handle the stock market's massive decline.
Denying rumors of liquidity problems and shrugging off the closure of a small brokerage, E. F. Hutton Group Inc., Goldman Sachs, Shearson Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. said they were not having cash problems and that their financial structures remained sound.
In addition, Merrill Lynch announced a big stock buyback worth about $125 million at present prices, a move illustrating management faith in its company and the stock market. Several big corporations also announced stock buybacks worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Goldman Sachs said it will make $1 billion of its capital available to mutual funds.