May 11, 2009 / 8:55 AM / 8 years ago

Wall Street drops on profit-taking

5 Min Read

<p>Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 28, 2009.Brendan McDermid</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Monday as investors booked profits in financials after a two-month run-up and news of several banks' share offerings heightened worries about their dilutive impact on current shareholders.

With government stress tests on big banks out of the way, and after a steep rise from March lows, investors sold some financials and took some of their recent gains. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) slid 8 percent to $35.83 and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) dropped 8.7 percent to $12.94.

Citigroup (C.N) fell 4 percent to $3.86, and Wells Fargo (WFC.N) shed nearly 6 percent to $26.53.

Technology shares fared better, however, on the day after German software maker SAP's (SAPG.DE)(SAP.N) co-chief executive said the next few months may bring "glimmers of hope" for the global economy. Big-cap software makers, including Oracle Corp ORCL.O, were standouts and the Nasdaq finished near break-even.

"You could be seeing some sector rotation out of the financials that were up so much. Tech names lead the market when the economy starts to turn," said David Bellantonio, head of trading at Instinet in New York. "Tech is outperforming the rest of the market."

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI shed 155.88 points, or 1.82 percent, to 8,418.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX declined 19.99 points, or 2.15 percent, to 909.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC dipped 7.76 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,731.24.

In the bank sector, U.S. Bancorp (USB.N) lost almost 10 percent to $18.50 and Capital One (COF.N) fell 13.5 percent to $27.10, while BB&T Corp (BBT.N) fell 7.6 percent $24.34. These banks were the latest to seek additional capital by announcing stock offerings on Monday.

The KBW Bank index .BKX, which through Friday had more than doubled since the broader market's March low, shed 7.1 percent as investors booked profits before the dilutive effects of the stock offerings. In comparison, the S&P 500 has risen more than 34 percent from its March 9 closing low.

The Nasdaq's support came from software makers, with Oracle up 1.3 percent at $18.56. Oracle ranked among the Nasdaq's top advancers, along with other tech bellwethers such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O), up 0.3 percent at $129.57. Symantec (SYMC.O) jumped 3 percent to $15.32.

The tech sector's resiliency helped propel the Nasdaq to its ninth straight weekly gain on Friday, its longest winning streak since December 1999.

In earnings news, U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, pushing the stock up 17.1 percent to $17.92, and making it one of the Nasdaq's top advancers.

Besides financials, shares of energy companies exerted some major drag due to retreating oil prices. Chevron (CVX.N) fell 3.4 percent to $68, making the stock the Dow's second- worst drag behind JPMorgan. Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) shed 1.6 percent to $69.27.

U.S. front-month crude dipped 13 cents, or 0.22 percent, to settle at $58.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, where about 1.49 billion shares changed hands, matching last year's daily average. On the Nasdaq, about 2.51 billion shares traded, exceeding last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.

Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of more than 2 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, nearly eight stocks fell for every five that rose.

Editing by Jan Paschal

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