Poor economic data and turmoil in the banking and tech sectors pushed stocks lower today, MarketWatch reports. Bank of America fell 13.3% after CEO Ken Lewis dismissed John Thain amid mounting losses in the wake of BoA’s merger with Merrill Lynch. The Dow closed down 105.30 at 8,122.80. The Nasdaq dropped 41.58 to close at 1,465.49, and the S&P 500 lost 12.74, settling at 827.50.
Insurer Aflac plunged 36.8% over concerns that it is exposed to securities issued by European banks, including the beleaguered Royal Bank of Scotland. Tech stocks saw losses after Microsoft reported weak earnings and announced job cuts; its shares fell 10.7%. EBay and Nokia also dropped 11.7% and 10.2%, respectively, after reporting poor earnings.