Stocks fall short in late push for positive territory

Stocks fell sharply to start today's trading session. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's comments about running out management and boards of directors at banks which need capital did not help, nor did an influential banking analyst coming out with very negative coverage of the sector at a new firm.

But the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out for the day around noon before staging an afternoon rally that might have returned stocks to positive territory -- if only the trading session had lasted another hour. In the end, the DJIA closed down 42 points, or 0.5 percent, at 7,976.