Dow Slides Below 10000

Kristina Peterson and Donna Kardos Yesalavich, The Wall Street

A slump in financial stocks sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its first close below 10000 in three months as concerns about the global economy and U.S. interest-rate policy simmered.

The blue-chip measure fell 103.84 points, or 1%, to 9908.39, near its intraday low in a session that saw selling accelerate into the closing bell. The Dow was led lower by a 3.5% decline in Bank of America, while American Express fell 2.8%, Travelers fell 2.5%, and J.P. Morgan Chase fell 1.6%.

Investors weighed a report in The Wall Street Journal that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will begin laying the groundwork for credit tightening later in the year, bringing to a close a period of historically low interest rates that have made it easier for ailing banks to book big profits.

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