Financials Send Stocks Sliding
Citigroup, Countrywide lead downward trend
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 3:40 PM CST
Specialist Ned Zelles works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Stocks plunged today as financials dragged down the markets. Countrywide reeled despite releasing statements denying it was preparing to file for bankruptcy protection. "You can't really have a healthy market without healthy financials," a trader told the Wall Street Journal. The Dow was down 238.42 to 12,589.07, the Nasdaq 58.95 to 2,440.51, and the S&P 500 25.99 to 1,390.19.

Citigroup nosedived after a pessimistic report from Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg reports. Analysts predict a 60% slide in fourth-quarter profits for financials, but they do foresee some bright spots mixed in. "When it's all said and done, I think we'll see that some of them did better than expected in the fourth quarter, some worse," says one researcher.