Dow Gains 68 Despite Banks

Options expirations cause market volatility
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2009 3:29 PM CST
In this April 21, 2008 file photo, a Bank of America branch is shown in Charlotte, N.C. Escalating credit costs forced Bank of America Corp. to report a $2.39 billion fourth-quarter loss Friday, Jan....   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, file)
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(Newser) – US stocks clawed back to gains today amid turmoil in the financial sector and volatile price swings stemming from the expiration of January options contracts, MarketWatch reports. Although 100 points off its open at midday, the Dow finished with a gain of 68.73, to 8,281.22. The Nasdaq added 17.49, settling at 1,529.33, and the S&P 500 gained 6.38 to 850.12.

Citigroup and Bank of America posted huge losses, but their stocks initially gained off the news they would receive additional bailout funds. The rally didn’t last: Citi closed down 8.6%, and BoA lost 13.7%. Financials were also rocked by a run on Barclays in the London Stock Exchange that sent the bank’s US shares tumbling 15.2%—though there wasn’t any concrete news to explain the original drop.