Banks Falter; Stocks Get Sacked

Financial downgrades hit the market where it hurts
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 3:56 PM CST
In this photo released by the 'Tiergarten Nuernberg' zoo in Nuremberg on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 shows the polar bear cub Flocke carried by an keeper. The bearish mood on Wall Street today is nowhere near...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Stocks fell today on a spate of analyst downgrades of banks and credit-card issuers. American Express, Discover Financial, and Capital One were all hit with downgraded ratings by UBS, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Dow fell 108.03 at 12,635.18, the Nasdaq 30.51 at 2382.85, and the S&P 500 14.60 to 1,380.82.

Analysts disagree whether this downturn means the market is too risky to play right now, or whether investors can simply avoid financials. "The financials really aren't a big area for us," says one investor. "A lot of the stocks we're looking at are still in pretty defensive sectors."