U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday as the ailing banking sector and what's likely to be a dismal earnings season over shadow the enthusiasm over Barack Obama's inauguration as the nation's 44th president. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62 points to 8,218. The S&P 500 declined 8 points to 841 while the Nasdaq Composite shed 13 points to 1,515. The averages quickly moved lower as the banks race to zero. Growing concerns of nationalization of the banking system in the U.K. has U.S. investors spooked. Barclays is down 42% and the Royal Bank of Scotland is down 70%. In the U.S., State Street is down 50% following bad earnings and a dire outlook. Citigroup looks awful, Bank of America is getting worse, and the once strong JP Morgan and Wells Fargo are plunging. Regions Financial is down 10% after missing estimates. Jefferies looks good down only 5% after missing estimates. KeyCorp is down only 2% on a positive article in Barrons. Nothing really looks good in the market. In the tech sector, Research in Motion is higher on an upgrade. Corning was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Google is lower on a downgrade. J&J beat estimates, but the stock is lower. The commodities are weak. Suncor Energy is down 12% even though they beat estimates by 14 cents. The defensive sectors look okay. Forest Labs is up 3% after beating estimates. Pfizer and Bristol Myers are modestly higher. Gold is higher. After the first hour the Dow was down 116 points. The Nasdaq declined 37 points. Through the morning the averages remained weak. No bounce when President Obama was elected. In the afternoon more weakness particularly in the financials. Not pretty. Entering the last hour the Dow was near the lows of the day down 250 points. The Nasdaq was down 67 points. Wallstreet is collapsing yet everyone is partying in Washington. Can anyone hear Nero's violin? In the last hour more selling. The Dow Jones closed below 8,000 for the first time since Nov. 20, falling 332 points or 4% to 7,949. The S&P 500 dropped 44 points, 5.3%, to close at 805. The Nasdaq Composite shed 88 points, or 5.8%, to close at 1,440. This was the steepest decline on Inauguration day in over a 100 years. Great.
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