U.S. Stocks Drop


U.S. stocks fell, extending the market’s weekly retreat, after Wells Fargo & Co. said its fourth quarter loss was wider than first reported and a British bank increased provisions for bad loans.

Wells Fargo, the second-biggest U.S. home lender, dropped 6.2 percent after revising results because of additional costs tied to securities holdings. Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. retreated more than 5.1 percent after Lloyds Banking Group Plc said it expects HBOS Plc, the U.K. lender it took over last month, to report a bigger-than-expected 2008 loss. Benchmark indexes fluctuated earlier as gains in technology and energy shares offset the drop in banks.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index decreased 1 percent to 826.83, with all 10 industry groups posting declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 82.35 points, or 1 percent, to 7,850.41. The Russell 2000 Index of small companies slipped 0.5 percent.

The S&P 500 fell 4.8 percent over the past five days, its fifth weekly retreat in the past six weeks, amid growing skepticism that government efforts will succeed in shoring up a global financial system battered by more than $1 trillion in credit losses.

Stocks in Europe climbed for the first time in four days, as profits at Pernod Ricard SA beat analysts’ estimates and the first advance in oil this week lifted energy shares.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.3 percent to 191.27. The regional gauge pared an increase of as much as 2.3 percent after Lloyds Banking Group Plc said it expects HBOS Plc to report a bigger-than-expected loss for 2008, sending financial shares lower.

National benchmark indexes gained in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.1 percent and Germany’s DAX added 0.1 percent

Asian stocks rose for the first time in five days, led by banks and electronics companies, on optimism governments will widen efforts to end the financial crisis and revive global growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.9 percent to 81.92 at 7:40 p.m. in Tokyo, paring its decline this week to 1.8 percent. The gauge lost 9.4 percent this year, extending 2008’s record 43 percent, as the credit crisis dragged the world’s biggest economies into recession.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1 percent to 7,779.40, cutting its drop in the week to 3.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2.5 percent. All benchmark indexes in the region advanced except the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/13/2009 1:39:19 PM