US STOCKS-Wall St falls on euro-zone bank woes

* Euro-zone concerns linger after Spanish bank bailout

* Apple, Google climb on analysts’ comments

* U.S. existing home sales and supply rise in April

* Dow drops 1.2 pct, S&P off 1.3 pct, Nasdaq off 0.7 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 24 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) slid on Monday,
driving the Dow to its lowest level since Feb. 10 as fresh
signs of Europe’s banking problems emerged.

The euro zone’s turbulence kept investors wary of taking
on risk, after the S&P 500’s 4.2 percent drop last week.

Financial shares were among the day’s largest decliners,
with the KBW Bank index (.BKX: ) falling 3.3 percent. Wells
Fargo (WFC.N: ) fell 4.7 percent to $28.71 after Goldman Sachs
cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy.”

Concerns about Europe’s banking system continued to weigh
on markets, after the Bank of Spain took over a small savings
bank, CajaSur, over the weekend, increasing anxiety among
investors worried about debt problems spreading throughout
financial markets.

“What happens specifically to Greece doesn’t matter a
whole lot, but if you start spreading to larger countries like
Spain, then it becomes an issue. That is what is causing all
this right now,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment
officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 126.82
points, or 1.24 percent, to 10,066.57. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) slipped 14.04 points, or 1.29 percent, to
1,073.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) fell 15.49
points, or 0.69 percent, to 2,213.55.

Despite the accelerated selling late in the day, some
pockets of strength remained in the market. That was
especially true in the tech sector.

Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) advanced 1.8 percent to $246.76 after
Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the stock by $35 to
$310 and added the company to its “Best Ideas” list. For
details, see [ID:nSGE64N1J6]

Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) gained 1.1 percent to $477.16 after
Citigroup added the No. 1 Internet search engine to its top
picks live list, saying the recent correction in its stock
price created the most compelling risk-reward opportunity in
the large-cap Internet sector. [ID:nSGE64N1SV]

Some deal activity in the tech and health sectors also
caught investors’ attention. International Business Machines
Corp (IBM.N: ) said it plans to buy Sterling Commerce from AT&T
Inc (T.N: ) for about $1.4 billion in cash, while Gentiva Health
Services (GTIV.O: ) agreed to buy Odyssey HealthCare Inc
(ODSY.O: ) for about $1 billion. [ID:nN24216202] and

IBM slipped 0.8 percent to $124.45 and AT&T lost 1.7
percent to $24.43. Both IBM and AT&T are Dow components.

In contrast, Odyssey jumped 38.7 percent to $26.75, and
Gentiva climbed 13.1 percent to $29.17.

Economic data showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes
rose to a five-month high in April as buyers rushed to close
on contracts before a federal home buyer tax credit expired,
although housing inventory also increased. [ID:nN24249842]

The PHLX Housing Sector index (.HGX: ) shed 1.6 percent
while the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction index (.DJUSHB: )
lost 1.4 percent.

Volume was light, with about 9.15 billion shares traded on
the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and
Nasdaq, slightly below last year’s estimated daily average of
9.65 billion.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
a ratio of 19 to 12, while on the Nasdaq, nearly two stocks
fell for every one that rose.


(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Wall St falls on euro-zone bank woes