Shares of U.S. Bancorp, the $79.5 billion-asset banking company based in Minneapolis, plummeted 28% on Monday after an announcement that it would fall short of its fourth-quarter and 2000 earnings projections.

The news shook bank stocks. The American Banker index of 50 banks and the American Banker index of 225 banks each fell nearly 5%. By contrast, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell less than 1%.

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