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U.S. stock indexes closed lower as a rally in financial shares lost steam late Monday, pushing down markets already pressured by falling tech shares.
Help may be on the way for the financial sector, but in the meantime individual institutions are continuing to get hit with damage from the growing subprime mortgage crisis.
HSBC Holdings was one of the first and most exposed banks to the U.S. housing crisis, but the recent bigger problems of leading rivals mean its shares have outperformed to make it the West's biggest bank.
Charles Prince resigned on Sunday as chairman and chief executive of Citigroup, and the bank said it may suffer an $11 billion write-down for subprime losses.
The analyst whose downgrade of Citigroup sparked a broad stock market sell-off on Thursday said she has received several death threats stemming from her research, the Times of London said.
Stocks closed on a positive note after several wild swings that ended an equally volatile week.
Large U.S. banks and brokerages will suffer additional writedowns of more than $10 billion in the fourth quarter as deteriorating credit trends continue, a Deutsche Bank analyst said.
Stocks closed sharply lower as investors found themselves confronted by two uncomfortable prospects: an end to interest rate cuts and a slowing economy.
Futures are down for several reasons: 1) Now we're really data dependent. Part of the problem with the market this morning is the realization that the economic data will have to be REALLY weak for the Fed to lower rates further.
Despite the positive economic news, there is concern about the consumer out there. Morgan Stanley just downgraded large cap banks like Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo; the note was ominously titled, " Consumer Contagion Coming."
Countrywide Financial Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo on Friday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an informal inquiry into his stock sales, confirming previous reports, and that he and the company are cooperating.
Bank of America on Thursday said it will stop offering home mortgages through brokers by the end of the year, resulting in a loss of 700 jobs, so that it may focus on lending directly to consumers.
Some positive earnings news is putting a floor under stocks but economic news and credit worries could be the ceiling. Durable goods data this morning showed signs of weakness, but new home sales rose a 4.8% to 770,000, a positive pickup after a decline in August. Forecasts were for 775,000 units.
Futures trading up as Motorola beat expectations and guided upward while EMC was in line and both are up nicely pre-open. There's strength in Europe, strength in Asia, third Quarter GDP in China rose 11.5%. That was in line with expectations. Chinese stocks are the only major market down in Asia, down 5%, probably on worries that more rate hikes are likely.
Bank of America on Wednesday said it plans to eliminate 3,000 jobs, and that the head of corporate and investment banking will depart after a dismal quarter at that unit led to a 32 percent drop in overall profit.
The "kitchen sink" theory is out the window. There's a trust problem developing on the Street. Remember a few weeks ago traders drove up the stocks of companies like Citigroup, even though they did take very large losses for subprime and CDOs?
The Federal Reserve thinks the so-called super SIV could help beleaguered financial markets, and its silence on the matter should not be seen as indicating a lack of support for the plan, a senior Fed official said Monday.
Banks and other financial institutions have expressed interest in providing more than $60 billion towards a super-sized fund aimed at bailing out structured investment vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The world's top banking lobby on Sunday accepted responsibility for the U.S. subprime lending crisis and launched a broad reform program designed to mend cracks in ailing credit markets.
U.S. stock investors looking to recoup from the worst week in almost three months will have to keep one eye out for signs of weakness in earnings due this week and the other on the threat surging oil prices.