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Stocks sink, pushing S&P 500 down from 5-year high

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm •  Published: January 7, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank on Wall Street, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index down from the five-year high it reached Friday.

The move lower on Monday is likely the result of investors taking some winnings off the table after the stock market's surge last week, said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

Investors are also preparing for corporate America's seasonal parade of earnings reports, which starts Tuesday.

"You can summarize it as profit-taking and preparation," Stovall said. "Investors are digesting some of those gains from last week and positioning themselves so they're not too far extended if fourth-quarter earnings slip a bit."

The S&P 500 dropped eight points to 1,457 as of 2:05 p.m. EST on Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 74 points to 13,360, while the Nasdaq composite dropped 11 points to 3,090.

Major bank stocks fell on news that JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others banks agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they foreclosed on people who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

In a separate agreement, Bank of America settled with the mortgage-servicing company Fannie Mae over mortgage investments that lost value during the real-estate crash. Bank of America will pay Fannie Mae $3.6 billion and buy back $6.75 billion in loans that the North Carolina-based bank and its Countrywide unit sold from Jan. 1, 2000 through Dec. 31, 2008. BofA's stock fell 9 cents to $12.02.

The S&P 500 closed at a five-year high Friday after a report showed that hiring held up in December during the tense fiscal negotiations in Washington, with employers adding 155,000 jobs in the month. Market indexes soared at the start of last week as lawmakers passed a bill to avoid a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases that came to be known as the "fiscal cliff." The law passed late Tuesday night avoided the full force of the budget cuts, which could have dragged the economy into a recession.

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