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Wells Fargo shares inch towards bear market territory

Wells Fargo Bank
Rick Wilking | Reuters

Wells Fargo shares continued to tumble on Thursday, closing down about 0.8 percent, following reports that federal prosecutors are investigating the bank and its sales practices.

The stock inched near bear market territory. As of its session low of $45.19, Wells Fargo shares were about 19.8 percent below their 52-week intraday high of $56.34.

A bear market is defined by a 20 percent drop in a stock from its 52-week intraday high.

Officials announced last week that Wells Fargo will pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers for opening fee-generating accounts without authorization. Over a five-year period, 5,300 Wells Fargo employees were fired over the practice cited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CNBC confirmed.

Wells Fargo declined to comment to CNBC.