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U.S. stocks retreated, sending financial shares to their lowest level in five years, on a deteriorating outlook for bank earnings. Rising oil prices pushed crude producers higher, leaving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average little changed.
Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. helped lead the drop after Bank of America Corp. cut income estimates for brokerages and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised selling bank shares as credit losses linger into 2009. Oil’s second day of gains pushed down Home Depot Inc., General Motors Corp. and United Airlines parent UAL Corp., while sending energy shares to their first advance in four days. American International Group Inc., the largest insurer, tumbled to the lowest since 1997 on Barron’s recommendation to sell the shares.
Almost two stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 rose 0.07 point to 1,318. The Dow decreased 0.33, or less than 0.1 percent, to 11,842.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 20.35, or 0.9 percent, to 2,385.74.
Most U.S. Stocks Retreat, Led by Financials on Credit Concern
Bloomberg, June 23 2008