Led by banks, stocks pare gains to end week

Today looked like the traditional broke American spender of the past: Lower income, increased spending. We also saw waves of profit taking ahead of the weekend as the last two weeks have been some of the best moves seen in years.

Bank stocks have driven many of the market's big moves of late, and today was no exception. Citigroup (C) was the biggest loser among the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 148 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 7,776.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was down 5% at $27.60 ahead of the close after Jamie Dimon exited the Obama vs. bankers meeting at the White House. This was on his comments about March being tougher than February more than anything.

General Motors (GM) had very mixed news. There are reports that the troubled auto giant is going to likely miss filing its survival plan with the administration. But it appears that Obama is releasing the data on a plan on Monday and the firm reached an agreement with about 7,500 workers on terms. Shares were up almost 6% at $3.60 before the close.

VMware (VMW) traded lower on a downgrade from a boutique brokerage and research firm called Auriga, which cut the rating down to a "Sell." Shares were down 5% at $23.45 shortly before the close.

First Solar (FSLR) fell on the heels of a huge gain in the solar sector yesterday morning. Collins Stewart cut the solar leader to Hold from Buy based upon valuation, despite the firm hiring a lobbyist to get government money. Shares were down 2.5% at $146.60 shortly before the close.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) raised about $750 million in a bond offering for one of its financial units yesterday showing that the funding requirements in the S&P "negative watch" call might have some merit. Shares were down 2.5% at $89,575.00 shortly before the close.
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