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Bank fines help end US stocks' record run

Nov 13 2014 07:43

New York - Wall Street's five-day record run ended on Wednesday after huge fines for rigging the foreign exchange market sent the shares of three leading US banks tumbling.

But the Nasdaq ended firmly higher on gains by Apple and Yahoo.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 2.70 points (0.02%) at 17 612.20.

The broad-market S&P 500 fell 1.43 (0.07%) to 2 038.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 14.58 (0.31%) at 4 675.13.

US, British and Swiss regulators levied $4.2bn in fines on six of the world's largest banks for manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Shares of the three US banks on the list all fell: JPMorgan Chase (-1.3%), Citigroup (-0.7%) and Bank of America (-0.2%).

But the banks and the markets in general shed much steeper earlier losses, demonstrating the continued strength of support after both the Dow and S&P 500 set fresh records for five straight sessions.

But small regional banks generally earned a boost from BB&T's $2.5bn takeover of regional bank Susquehanna Bancshares. Susquehanna gained 32.5%, while BB&T lost 1.7%.

Otherwise market losses were more measured as investors caught their breath after the five-day rally by the Dow and S&P 500.

"We are nearing new highs, we need a pretty good catalyst to move higher," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

The Nasdaq hit its best level since late March 2000, but remained well shy of the all-time high above 5 048 that March 10, when the index turned downward to what became a severe crash.

Pushing the Nasdaq higher were Apple, up 1.5 percent to its all-time high of $111.25, and Yahoo, which gained 3.2% on news of its purchase of video advertising service BrightRoll for $640m.

Oil company shares lost ground as the price of crude continued its fall. ExxonMobil gave up 1.1%, Chevron 0.7%, and ConocoPhillips 0.8%.

Bond prices were flat after the market was closed Tuesday for a holiday. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury held at 2.36%, unchanged from Monday, while the 30-year slipped to 3.08% from 3.09%.

equities  |  wall street  |  markets
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