U.S. Stocks Off to a Rough Start Tuesday

Updated from 7:04 a.m. EDT

Stocks on Wall Street opened lower Tuesday, as traders prepared to pick through a large, lackluster pile of corporate earnings statements.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 138 points to 9127, and the S&P 500 gave back 14 points to 971. The Nasdaq was down 29 points at 1741.

On Monday, the major indices rallied sharply as credit markets opened up somewhat and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said an economic stimulus package may be a good idea.

After the close of that session, credit card firm American Express ( AXP) reported earnings that fell year over year but still beat analysts' expectations.

Elsewhere in the financials, business wasn't looking as good. Regional banks Fifth Third ( FITB), National City ( NCC) and KeyCorp ( KEY) all announced losses stemming from bad loans. National City said it plans to cut 4,000 jobs. US Bancorp ( USB) said its income fell from a year ago.

Large bank Citigroup ( C) was also in for a hard time following a Goldman Sachs analyst statement that said the firm may not report a profit for the next 12 months and reiterated a sell rating on the stock.

Tuesday also marked the deadline for settlement of $400 billion worth of credit default swaps on bankrupt brokerage Lehman Brothers' debt.

The Federal Reserve announced that it would buy commercial paper from money-market mutual funds in another effort to massage cramped credit markets. Abroad, Canada's central bank lowered its target interest rate 25 basis points to 2.25%, and France announced plans for a $14 billion capital injection into its largest banks.

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