Financial shares bore the brunt of a wide selloff Thursday as credit-quality concerns, profit warnings, and a spike in oil prices caused by the intensified conflict in the Middle East weighed on investor sentiment.

The American Banker index of top 50 banks was down 4.71%, and its index of 225 banks lost 5.55%. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq index fell 3.65% and 2.98%, respectively. Greater Bay Bancorp of Palo Alto, Calif., got an upgraded recommendation from Sandler O'Neill & Partners Thursday, a day after it reported that its third-quarter profit, after a charge, rose 2.5% from the year earlier.

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