Published: Aug 09, 2011 3:36 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 09, 2011 5:21 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stocks are rising in early trading, a day after their worst drop since 2008. The Federal Reserve meets today, and traders are speculating that it may announce more help for the economy, which has stumbled this year. Stocks plummeted around the world yesterday on worries about the economy, the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and debt problems in Europe.

Investors are hoping to gain back at least some of Monday's giant losses.

The fed has already kept interest rates at record lows for more than two years. Additional stimulus could help the stock market, but the wild swings have already scared off many small investors.

The broader market has dropped about 18 percent since its high point in April. And along with the steady stream of negative news about the economy, that's fueling concerns the nation could be dipping back into recession, the DOW's drop Monday was the sixth worst in history by total points. But the 5 percent drop doesn't even rank among the top 20 days by percentage and nowhere close to the 22 percent drop on black Thursday in 1987.