News Column

Markets Bump Into Banking Concerns

May 17, 2012

U.S. stock market gains opened lower Thursday with investors keeping and eye on the financial sector and the weekly job report.

The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits was unchanged in the week with 370,000 initial claims filed. The four-week rolling average dropped by almost 5,000 claims to 375,000.

Recent losses at JPMorganChase from market bets stand at $2 billion, but estimates are growing. The losses, plus dour news on banking from Europe have taken a toll on the financial sector. Moody's Investors Service said Spanish banks would have their credit ratings lowered. Rival credit rating agency Fitch has said that banks around the world will need to raise $566 billion to meet new regulatory demands.

In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 34.97 points, or 0.28 percent, to 12,563.58. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 6.27 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,867.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 2.96 points, 0.22 percent, to 1,321.84.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 4/32 to yield 1.78 percent.

The euro fell to $1.2696 from Wednesday's $1.2716. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 80.22 yen from Wednesday's 80.33 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.86 percent, 75.42, to 8,876.59.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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