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Some big Wall Street banks may have been premature in believing New York State's investigation into auction-rate securities was over, people inside New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office told CNBC.
Stocks closed lower—even though oil fell to $113 a barrel—as a fresh round of warnings about banking troubles squelched the market's week-long rally.
European shares ended with losses on Tuesday as the region's financial stocks suffered following further writedowns from the third-largest U.S. bank JPMorgan.
The financial sector took several more body blows as losses from the credit crisis continued to mount at some of the world's biggest banks.
Smaller financial firms have found a way to capitalize on their larger rivals' woes, moving to snap up some of the top talent cast adrift by sweeping layoffs at leading investment banks.
UBS will separate its investment bank from its prized wealth management arm, paving the way to sell the business that made it Europe's biggest casualty of the credit crunch.
Commodities and inflation remain the main story, and while stocks are well off their July lows, the advance remains tentative due to concerns about a slower global economy.
Stocks moved lower off the market opening on a fresh round of bad news for financials and an economic sign that the US consumer was continuing to struggle.
From mid-July to late July short interest dropped 5.34 percent, on average, in the shares of 17 major financial firms affected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission emergency short-selling rule, according to the latest data from the exchange.
Wachovia increased its previously reported second-quarter loss to $9.11 billion to cover costs to settle a probe of auction-rate securities sales, and said it will cut more jobs as the housing market deteriorates.
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Stocks are likely to follow the dollar, commodities trade again Tuesday, with little economic news to drive direction early.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office, which is investigating Wall Street's sales practices in auction-rate securities, told JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia on Monday that it wants to begin settlement talks immediately.
Jon Hilsenrath, money and investing news editor at The Wall Street Journal, offered CNBC his weekly "Five for Five": the five stocks investors must watch this week.
Time for Fast & Furious -- you know the drill!
After introducing guest trader Zach Karabell, aka "The Academic," the gang immediately dives into the main lesson learned after stocks soar to end the week (the highest close since June). The dollar also "exploded," with its biggest jump in 8 years against the euro. "Currencies typically do not move like that," says Dylan of the USD's 3.3% gain this week. The S&P 500 also had its best week since April, due in part to the commodities pullback -- it ended the day up 2.4%.
Swiss bank UBS has agreed to buy back $19.4 billion of debt securities whose value collapsed during the global financial crisis and to pay $150 million in fines to settle charges it misled investors, Massachusetts' top securities regulator said.
Despite markets' downtrends, Julius de Kempenaer from Talergroup said the worst is over for the financial sector.
Citigroup will buy back more than $7 billion in auction-rate securities and pay $100 million in fines as part of settlements with federal and state regulators, who said the bank marketed the investments as safe despite liquidity risks.
Stocks ended near session lows as oil ended above $120 a barrel and two Dow components missed the Street's targets.