NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Friday as uncertainty about how the government will help clean up bank balance sheets tempered earlier optimism and hurt financial shares, while large-cap techs weighed.
I really don't think you're going to see a true floor in this market until we get a comprehensive plan on the finance sector, said Peter Jankovskis, director of research at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
Officials have repeatedly said getting banks stabilized is crucial to putting the economy on the road to recovery. Hopes that some stabilization was returning to the banking system helped stocks rise for three straight days.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> declined 48.43 points, or 0.68 percent, to 7,121.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 6.75 points, or 0.90 percent, to 743.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 15.83 points, or 1.11 percent, to 1,410.27.
The S&P financial index <.GSPF> fell 3 percent. Bank of America
But Citigroup's stock was up 3 percent at $1.72, although it was off from earlier gains that took it up 13 percent to a session high at $1.89. JPMorgan Chase & Co
Nasdaq was dragged lower by technology bellwethers, including Microsoft
In contrast, Merck
(Additional reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)