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VOL. 123 | NO. 222 | Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sector Snap: Regional Bank Stocks Fall

AP

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NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of regional banks slid Tuesday amid more signs of weakness in the financial sector and a string of bleak corporate earnings reports.

Losses piled up in the broader market as third-quarter reports from companies such as coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. and home builder Toll Brothers Inc. sent a strong signal to investors that few industries are immune to a sharp pullback in consumer spending.

Signs that the credit markets remain tight also discouraged investors. Late Monday, American Express Co. said it received approval to accept deposits and access the emergency government financing that other banks have been using, as the credit card giant looks for ways to diversify its funding base amid the credit crisis.

Citigroup Inc., meanwhile, became the latest major bank to announce a series of initiatives to keep at-risk borrowers in their homes and curtail losses from souring mortgages. The government is working on a plan to help around 3 million borrowers avoid foreclosure, too, but details have yet to be released.

Among the sector's biggest decliners were Sovereign Bancorp Inc., which fell 18 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $2.48 in afternoon trading, and Synovus Financial Corp., which lost 35 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $7.66.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. dropped $1.82, or 2.7 percent, to $64.95, while U.S. Bancorp shed 75 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $26.76. First Horizon National Corp. slid 15 cents to $10.73.

Bucking the trend was Fifth Third Bancorp, which edged up 2 cents to $10.09.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 74 17,458
MORTGAGES 93 93 20,128
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 9 9 2,654
BUILDING PERMITS 126 126 36,072
BANKRUPTCIES 63 63 11,227
BUSINESS LICENSES 32 32 5,741
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 6,715
MARRIAGE LICENSES 51 51 3,967