Banks Drive Stocks Down Early

Investors see bad news everywhere in new data
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2009 9:11 AM CST
Specialist Damen Watson, second from right, is surrounded by traders at the post that handles MasterCard on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stocks dropped at the open today as a surprisingly good JPMorgan quarter struggled to offset other negative economic news, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow was off 108, despite Morgan's 4% surge, as Bank of America plummeted 15% after reports it would need more aid to close the Merrill Lynch deal. The Nasdaq was down 0.9%, the S&P 500 off 1.3%.

Apple sunk 4% after founder Steve Jobs announced his medical leave. European stocks were rising after a rate cut, but Japan’s Nikkei slid 4.9%, dragged down by yesterday’s plunge in US markets. “People tried to talk themselves into investing in the market,” said one analyst, but “now they’re starting to see the picture and can’t fool themselves.”