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US stocks fall on Fed banks report, low sentiment index

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks fell in early trade Friday after a key consumer sentiment index sank and the Fed's review of bank capital plans raised questions about JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

At 1015 am (1415 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 59.25 points (0.41 percent) to 14,479.89.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 6.59 (0.42 percent) to 1,556.64, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.10 (0.43 percent) to 3,244.83.

The University of Michigan Consumer index took a surprising dive to 71.8, its lowest level since the end of 2011 and down from 77.6 in February. Analysts had expected a gain.

JPMorgan and Goldman shares both sank after the Federal Reserve on Thursday raised questions about their capital plans, ordering adjustments to "address weaknesses" if they want to proceed with dividend payouts and share buybacks as hoped.

JPMorgan -- also hit by the release of a damning US Senate report on the London Whale trades -- fell 3.0 percent while Goldman was off 0.3 percent.

Bank of America, whose capital plan was approved by the Fed after having been stalled last year, gained 3.2 percent and Wells Fargo added 2.1 percent, but Citigroup lost 0.5 percent despite its getting the nod for a share buyback.

Boeing shares added 0.4 percent after company officials said they believed the grounded 787 Dreamliner was "absolutely" safe and would be back flying within weeks after getting a tentative approval of its fix for battery problems that sparked a fire on one aircraft.

On the Nasdaq, Apple was up 1.9 percent while Blackberry lost 1.1 percent.

Bond prices were higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.02 percent from 2.06 percent late Thursday, while the 30-year yield moved to 3.23 percent from 3.24 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

pmh/vlk

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130315/us-stocks-fall-fed-banks-report-low-sentiment-index