A late plunge in the overall stock market canceled earlier price gains for many banking stocks. The late selloff caused a 44.03-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average to 3,295.17.
BankAmerica Corp. was off 87.5 cents, to $43.75; Banc One Corp. was down 62.5 cents to $46.375; PNC Financial Corp. was off 50 cents to $53.25; and Norwest Corp. was off $1, to $37.50.
National City Corp. was a notable exception, gaining $1.25 to $44.75. Analyst Ken Puglisi of Chicago Corp. said the gain was "over-due," and that it could reflect investors anticipating a strong quarterly earnings report.
Another gainer was Wachovia Corp., which closed at $62.50, up 62.5 cents.
The broader market's confidence was shaken by a string of sharp declines in some nonbank stocks, including Marion Merell Dow, Dillard Department Stores, and Symantec Corp.
Analysts also blamed the slide on program trading and on a statement by Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady that he was not concerned over a sharp drop in the dollar.