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Dow Watch: Bank of America's a Drag

Bank of America and Citigroup were the worst performers on the Dow Monday.

Updated from 3:27 p.m. EDT

No Winners Here

(

At 5:50 p.m. EDT

)

Glad that's over. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

plunged Monday, as every one of its stocks retreated. We've not seen a day this bad since early March.

All told, the index dropped 289.60 points, or 3.6%, to 7841.73 and in the process lost $106 billion in market capitalization. The decline, which ended a three-session winning streak, also cut its gain for the month to 3.1% and pushed the year-to-date loss to 10.7%.

From a percentage standpoint,

Bank of America

(BAC)

, down 24.3% to $8.02, and

Citigroup

(C)

, off 19.5% to $2.94, were the worst performers. On a point basis,

JPMorgan Chase

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TheStreet Recommends

(JPM)

and

American Express

(AXP)

were the biggest problems, together accounting for roughly 50 points of the overall decrease.

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After the close,

IBM

(IBM)

posted its numbers

, and the report wasn't doing much to help out the shares. Profits were better than expected, but sales missed estimates. Recently, the stock was down 1.6% to $98.86.

So the sellers won the day, quite easily, in fact. We'll see if they can again tomorrow, when five Dow components are set to report their results --

Caterpillar

(CAT)

,

DuPont

(DD)

,

Merck

(MRK)

,

United Technologies

(UTX)

and

Coca-Cola

(KO)

.

And It's Cold and Raining

(

At 3:10 p.m. EDT

)

Ugly day out there in New York. Stocks aren't doing very well, either.

Right, I shouldn't talk about the weather at a time like this. So the

Dow

starts the week with a good old fashioned selloff. Recently it was down 270 points, or 3.3%, to 7852. Not good.

All 30 stocks were in the red, and

Bank of America

(BAC)

remained the worst, off 22.4% to $8.23.

Citigroup

(C)

had it almost as bad, falling 20.3% to $2.91.

Not much to really be happy about, except maybe for the fact that the session low was 7844, so we're a few points above that.

Now That's a Problem

(

At 10:11 a.m. EDT

)

As expected, the

Dow

is off to a terrible start this week. About 40 minutes into the session, it was near its low of the day, down 187 points at 7944. Financials and

GM

(GM)

were the weakest on a percentage basis.

Bank of America

(BAC)

was having the worst morning, dropping 13.2% to $9.20 amid concerns about

credit quality

.

Despite bright spots in the latest numbers, CEO Ken Lewis noted in a prepared statement that the bank continues "to face extremely difficult challenges primarily from deteriorating credit quality driven by weakness in the economy and growing unemployment." And the sellers went crazy.

Meanwhile,

Citigroup

(C)

has reportedly gotten three bids for its Japanese brokerage

Nikko Cordial

, but it also had its

estimates cut

at Barclays. Its shares were down 11.8% at $3.22.

Elsewhere,

American Express

(AXP)

was losing 8.4% to $19.98, and GM was plunging 11.3% to $1.65.

Four stocks,

Procter & Gamble

(PG)

,

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ)

,

Merck

(MRK)

and

Kraft

undefined

were managing to escape the selling and post modest gains.

Here's something that isn't quite as depressing. For those of you who like lists,

Exxon Mobil's

(XOM)

back at the top of the

Fortune 500

, replacing another Dow stock,

Wal-Mart

(WMT)

.

The top three -- the third being

Chevron

(CVX)

-- and seven of the first 10 are part of the industrial average.

No Help From Mergers This Time

(

At 9:05 a.m. EDT

)

IBM

(IBM)

, you're off the hook. You don't have to feel bad now at all.

With

Oracle

(ORCL)

saying it will buy

Sun

(JAVA)

, you can go ahead and dispense with any residual doubt you might have had about not pursuing this deal.

Speaking of Oracle-Sun, that was only one of a series of mergers announced or proposed as the new week arrived.

PepsiCo

(PEP)

is offering to

acquire two bottlers

, and

GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK)

set plans for a

$2.9 billion takeover

of Stiefel Laboratories.

Yes, I know Pepsi and Glaxo aren't part of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

. The reason I bring them up is that M&A often leads to up days for the market. Been that way for years. So far, that isn't happening. Recently, Dow futures were down more than 100 points.

As we know, the beginning of a session often has little to do with the end. At the moment though, the sellers appear to be in charge.

Bank of America

(BAC)

was part of the problem.

It had some good.

It also some bad, and its shares were down 7.7% in the premarket.

Citigroup

(C)

was falling 7.1%.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM)

was off more than 3%.

Remember, too, that the vast majority of Mondays in 2009 have

finished to the downside

. So we'll see.