U.S. stocks slid more than 3 percent on Monday after weak results from Bank of America reignited concerns over the state of the banking industry and the economy.
Wall Street's tumble was broad-based and follows a six-week winning streak, the longest for the S&P 500 since 2007, with the Dow scoring its biggest gain over the period since 1938.
Dow component Bank of America
We had started to believe that there was light at the end of the credit crisis tunnel and a lot of the wind got taken out of the sails, said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors in Albany, New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 289.60 points, or 3.56 percent, to 7,841.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> tumbled 37.21 points, or 4.28 percent, to 832.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 64.86 points, or 3.88 percent, to 1,608.21.
IBM SLIPS AFTER BELL, TEXAS INSTRUMENTS UP
After the closing bell, IBM
IBM's stock fell 3 percent to $97.47 in extended-hours trading.
But Texas Instruments
BANKS' CREDIT LOSSES A CONCERN
The sharp sell-off in the regular session was exacerbated by comments from Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis that the already bad credit environment is getting worse.
Energy and commodity shares also fell, with U.S. crude oil futures ending nearly 9 percent lower amid pressure from economic concerns and a rally in the U.S. dollar on safe-haven bids. The S&P Energy Index <.GSPE> dropped 4.4 percent.
Adding to the bank worry, U.S. government officials have determined they can avoid asking Congress for more bank bailout funds by converting the existing loans to some U.S. banks into common stock, the New York Times reported. Such a move would dilute stockholders' stakes.
Shares of Citigroup Inc
The KBW bank index <.BKX> tumbled 15.4 percent.
Fueling more bank concerns were comments from J.P. Morgan Securities, which said it estimates U.S. banks to incur $400 billion more in losses from the credit crisis and expects there will be a need for more capital for certain institutions.
The U.S. Treasury also said on Monday that there was no basis for a report that showed its stress tests on the health of the nation's top 19 banks showed several were technically insolvent.
The major indexes suffered their worst performance on a percentage basis since March 5. But the S&P 500 remains up 23 percent from the bear market closing low on March 9, with that advance spurred by some positive comments from banks and hopes that data signaled the economic slump may be moderating.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index <.VIX>, which measures the S&P 500's implied volatility and is also known as the fear gauge, jumped 15.4 percent, its biggest one-day rise since January 20.
Adding to the negative tone, U.S. President Barack Obama said over the weekend the economy remains under strain and his top economic adviser tempered hopes for a speedy recovery.
On the merger front, Oracle Corp
Oracle shares shed 1.3 percent to $18.82, while Sun, the high-end computer server and software maker, surged 37 percent to $9.15.
Trading was active on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.76 billion shares changing hands, above last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 3.08 billion shares traded, well above last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of more than 9 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, more than five stocks fell for every one that rose.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jan Paschal)