Right in time for the holiday shopping season, A.G. Edwards & Sons analyst Joel J. Houck downgraded the credit card company MBNA Corp. to "reduce" from "maintain," citing concerns about earnings and credit losses.
Shares of MBNA, which have been unsteady for weeks, took a particularly hard hit on Monday following the late Friday downgrade. Other consumer finance companies were also swept up in the decline, with Providian Financial down $6, or 6.75%, to $82.875, and Capital One, down $2.9375, or 5.6%, to $49.5625. MBNA lost $2.5625, or 7.03%, to $33.875. American Banker's index of 225 banks dropped 2.2% and its index of the top 50 banks 1.84%.