News Column

Portugal Bank Fears Spark Selloff

July 10, 2014

Saudi Press Agency

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after the health of Portugal's top listed bank was questioned, bringing back to markets the specter of a weakened Europe, Reuters reported.

With U.S. stocks near record highs, the slide in Europe translated into broad selling on Wall Street. Many market participants have called for a pullback, with the steady S&P 500 yet to see a daily decline of 1 percent or more since April 10.

Espirito Santo Financial Group, the largest shareholder in Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo, suspended trading in its shares and bonds, citing "material difficulties" at parent company ESI. Shares of the bank fell 17.2 percent. The S&P 500 financial sector fell 1.3 percent.

Portugal's benchmark stock index fell 3.8 percent and Italy's FTSE MIB fell 2 percent. An index of European bank shares was down 1.9 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 117.1 points or 0.69 percent, to 16,868.51, the S&P 500 lost 12.79 points or 0.65 percent, to 1,960.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 41.37 points or 0.94 percent, to 4,377.67.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,257 to 604, for a 3.74-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 2,167 issues fell and 340 rose for a 6.37-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

-- SPA


Original headline: Wall St slides as Portugal bank worry triggers selloff

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