Even on a day when the troubled financial sector got some good news, its shares still led the stock market lower.
Better than expected existing home sales and a well received auction at Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) might have been good for a rally on another day, but major stock averages plunged 2% as investors fretted about falling home prices and rising inventories and the health of other financial stocks, among them AIG (NYSE: AIG), JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) and Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH). More than 95% of financial stocks ended the day lower.
There was little news moving the tech sector, as the biggest names moved largely in line with the Nasdaq’s 2% loss.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) was a rare winner, up 2.1% after selling its digital TV business to Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), which fell 4.6%.
Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) fell 4.7% on a Citigroup downgrade on concern about competition from Verizon (NYSE: VZ), news that also hit shares of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).
Infosys (NASDAQ: INFY) lost 4% after buying SAP consulting business Axon Group.
The Nasdaq lost 49 to 2365, the S&P fell 25 to 1266, and the Dow tumbled 241 to 11,386. Volume declined to 3.44 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.45 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 26-7 margin on the NYSE, and 22-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 82% on the NYSE, and 90% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 12-103 on the NYSE, and 41-109 on the Nasdaq.