Stocks fell on Wednesday due to disappointment U.S. President Barack Obama shed little new light about how his administration would stabilize the economy in a major speech before Congress.
Long-standing worries about recession and the fate of the banking sector persisted, sending shares of financial services companies, big manufacturers and energy companies lower.
Bank of America
Shares of Citigroup
The market is starving for something tangible on which to hang its hat, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in New Brunswick, New Jersey. There was little of anything tangible in Obama's speech to bring hope to the market today.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 90.64 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,260.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 9.41 points, or 1.22 percent, to 763.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 16.26 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1,425.57.
Late on Tuesday Obama sought to reassure Americans the country would emerge stronger from the crisis but investors found little in his speech that could help the market sustain its attempted rebound on Tuesday from 12-year lows.
U.S. regulators are due to begin stress tests on Wednesday to determine how much capital banks need. Even so, investors remain uncertain about how the government would relieve banks of money-losing assets and revive lending.
The economic calendar features a report on January existing home sales, due at 10 a.m..
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is back on Capitol Hill at the same time to testify again on the economy, this time to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)