Wall Street off on banks shares

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U.S. stocks fell to session lows on Thursday as shares of major banks, including Bank of America ,skidded, and further deterioration in the labor market added to worries about the deepening recession.

Bank of America dropped 12.47 percent to $4 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Citigroup tumbled 11.3 percent to $2.58.

Uncertainty about how the Obama administration will shore up the beleaguered financial system persisted, while government data showed the number of U.S. workers continuing to claim jobless benefits hit a record high in the first week of February.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 50.65 points, or 0.67 percent, at 7,504.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.26 points, or 0.41 percent, at 785.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 11.53 points, or 0.79 percent, at 1,456.44.

The slide had indexes precariously close to falling through three-month lows.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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