NEW YORK: US stocks were under pressure on Monday (Mar 20), with banking shares in retreat on doubts Washington will be able to enact regulatory relief for the sector anytime soon.
Banks have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the post-election stock rally due to expectations President Donald Trump will pull back on tough new rules planned or implemented after the 2008 financial crisis. But shares JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others all fell on Monday.
"The banks are under pressure because regulatory reform is not moving quickly and the banks are having a tough quarter," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
Wells Fargo was among the hardest hit, losing 1.8 per cent after disclosing that new credit-card applications in February fell 55 per cent from the year-ago period, the latest drag from a fake accounts scandal that has roiled the bank.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 8.76 points (0.04 per cent) to close the trading session at 20,905.86.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 4.78 points (0.20 per cent) to end at 2,373.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.53 points (0.01 per cent) to 5,901.31.
Caterpillar jumped 2.7 per cent after disclosing that machine sales in Asia-Pacific jumped 39 per cent over the last three months compared with the year-ago period. Worldwide machine sales dropped one percent over that period.
Advanced Micro Devices jumped 6.8 per cent after a note from Jefferies investment bank lifted its sales estimate for the company in anticipation of new product launch.