Was the selloff in Citigroup shares overdone?
The stock tanked 7 percent to a 4-year low--and lost more than than $16 billion in market value--after an analyst downgraded the nation's biggest bank, citing concerns about its capital needs.
"We believe over (the) near term, Citigroup will need to raise over $30 billion in capital through either asset sales, a dividend cut, a capital raise, or combination thereof," wrote Meredith Whitney, an analyst at CIBC World Markets Corp.
The report not only sent Citigroup shares plunging but triggered a broad selloff in the markets.
Some analysts, however, disagreed with the CIBC findings.
“Citibank does not have capital issues,” said Richard Bove, financial strategist at Punk Ziegel, saying there were calculation errors. "She simply made a mathematical mistake. She’s out on a limb arguing that the regulators are wrong.”
Citigroup itself declined to comment on the report, but its stock led the financial sector sharply lower.
JP Morgan Chase lost 5.7%. Wachovia was down 4.79%, and Bank of America saw a decline of 5.32%.
Some technology stocks managed to escape the loss today. Plexus gained 21%, and Microsoft was up closing at $37.06.