Early Monday, analysts at both Keefe Bruyette and Friedman Billings upgraded Wells Fargo to market perform from underperform.
On the home-loan front, Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) announced it would modify about 400,000 mortgages to help borrowers who had taken out loans from Countrywide Financial, which BofA acquired on July 1.
Money markets were strained. Bloomberg.com said three-month Libor, a measure of the cost of borrowing among banks, was at 4.29%, near a high last seen in January. Overnight Libor climbed to 2.37% from 2% Friday.Outside the financials, Reuters reported that ImClone (IMCL) agreed to a merger with Eli Lilly (LLY). Among technology stocks, online auctioneer eBay (EBAY - Get Report) said it would be cutting its staff by 10% and would buy online payment processor Bill Me Later. Breadth was frightful. Decliners were trouncing advancers 32-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange. On the Nasdaq, decliners were beating advancers 11-to-1. In the commodities space, the price of crude oil was down $4.49 to $89.39 a barrel, and gold climbed $33 to settle at $866.20 an ounce. Longer-term U.S. Treasury securities were climbing in price. The 10-year was up 1-8/32 to yield 3.45%, and the 30-year was climbing 2-18/32, yielding 3.95%. Overseas markets were broadly falling. The FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were each down more than 7%. Asian exchanges, including Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, closed on the downside.