(AP) NEW YORK - Bank stocks led a sharp decline in early trading on Wall Street Thursday. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) dropped after The New York Times reported that its trading loss could be $9 billion, much larger than the bank has acknowledged.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 162 points to 12,464 in the first hour of trading. The early slump of 1.3 percent wiped out the Dow's gain for the week.
Hospital stocks moved sharply higher after the HCA) soared $1.84 to $28.45, an increase of 7 percent, in heavy trading.requiring Americans to have health insurance. HCA Holdings (
JPMorgan fell the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow average. The bank had said previously the loss was $2 billion but could get larger. JPMorgan lost $1.10, or 3 percent, to $35.69.
Investors were also punishing bank stocks because British regulators escalated their inquiry into the manipulation of a key interest rate. Citigroup, Britain's HSBC (HBC), Switzerland's UBS (UBS) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were also named by British regulators in the probe.
Barclays Bank of Britain (BCS) has already been fined $453 million for manipulating the benchmark interest rate to its advantage between 2005 and 2009. The London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, is used for setting rates on a wide variety of loans including consumer loans and mortgages.
The U.S.-listed shares of Barclays plunged 15 percent, giving up $1.84 to $10.49. UBS lost 50 cents to $11.02 and Citigroup (C) fell 50 cents to $26.58.
Bank stocks fell the most of the 10 industries tracked by the Standard & Poor's 500 index. All 10 indexes were down.
There was little for investors to like in new reports on the U.S. economy.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent in the January-March quarter, according to a new government estimate. Consumer spending, which accounts for a huge part of the economy, grew 2.5 percent, below the previous 2.7 percent estimate. The four-week average of applications for unemployment benefits didn't decline, a sign that layoffs aren't easing.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 17 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,314 and the technology Nasdaq composite index was off 47 points at 2,828. That's a loss of 1.6 percent.
News Corp. (NWS) fell 1 percent after the into two public companies. The stock or Rupert Murdoch's sprawling media empire, which includes The Wall Street Journal, the Fox TV network, Fox News Channel and newspapers in Australia and Britain, gave up 35 cents to $21.96.
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) fell $1.13 to $68 after the discount retailer of household goods and food reported earnings and revenue that were short of what Wall Street analysts were expecting.
PAYX ) dropped $1.21 to $30.72. The company, which provides payroll, human resources and benefits services to employers, reported revenue was shy of what analysts were expecting.