Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, closed below $100 for the first time since March 2009 as financial stocks fell amid concerns about the European debt crisis.
The shares fell $4.75, or 4.6 percent, to $97.86 at 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the lowest closing price since March 20, 2009. The stock dropped briefly below $100 earlier this month before climbing back above $100 by the end of the trading session. Goldman Sachs has declined 42 percent this year.
Goldman Sachs fell amid an overall decline in U.S. financial stocks, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index dropping 4.9 percent. Moody’s Investors Service lowered credit ratings on Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and reduced Citigroup Inc.’s short-term rating today.
“Most of it is still Europe and the uncertainty about what the resolution of the sovereign debt problems will be,” said David Hilder, an analyst at New York-based Susquehanna Financial Group. “The Moody’s downgrades certainly didn’t help.” Hilder has a “positive” rating on Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo and a “neutral” on Citigroup.
Morgan Stanley (MS), the sixth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, sustained the biggest decline in the S&P 500 Financials Index as the stock fell $1.30, or 8.6 percent, to $13.82.
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