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Banks drag Wall Street lower as fear returns

August 11, 2011

Banks drag Wall Street lower as fear returns

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

On Wednesday August 10, 2011, 6:01 pm EDT
By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fear returned to Wall Street on Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 to another 4 percent decline, triggered by worries that Europe’s debt crisis could engulf French banks and spill onto the U.S. financial sector.

Trading was once again marked by sharp moves on heavy volume. For a fifth straight day, the Dow industrials fluctuated in a range of more than 400 points.

“What you’re seeing is a very short-term, direction-oriented market,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.

Worries about the strength of French lenders, including Societe Generale, triggered a selloff in European and U.S. banks. Rumors about SocGen’s financial health, which the bank denied, sent its shares tumbling 14.7 percent.

An index of European banks dropped 6.7 percent and the KBW index of U.S. bank stocks slid 4.9 percent as fear grew of a possible contagion of any French crisis. Bank of America Corp lost 10.9 percent to $6.77 and Goldman Sachs slid more than 10 percent to $110.34.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 519.83 points, or 4.62 percent, to 10,719.94. The S&P 500 fell 51.77 points, or 4.42 percent, to 1,120.76. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 101.47 points, or 4.09 percent, to 2,381.05.

Wednesday’s drop came a day after stocks rallied on the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep interest rates near zero for at least two more years.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Wall-Street-falls-as-fear-rb-645618736.html?x=0

Anyone tracking real estate & mortgages needs to keep an eye on the stock & bond markets because they effect interest rates!

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