Stocks End Slightly Lower as Banks Slide

Updated from 2:19 p.m. EDT

Financials contributed to a lower close for the stock market Tuesday despite a better-than-expected report on consumer confidence and a mild rebound in some of the industries hurt by the swine flu earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 8.05 points, or 0.1%, to 8016.95, while the S&P 500 lost 2.35 points, or 0.3%, to 855.16. The Nasdaq gave up 5.6 points, or 0.3%, to 1673.81.

General Motors ( GM) was the worst performer on the Dow, losing 11.3%, followed by Bank of America ( BAC) and Citigroup ( C), which lost 8.6% and 5.9%, respectively.

BofA and Citigroup were alerted by the government that they may need to raise more capital following the preliminary results of the so-called stress tests, The Wall Street Journal reported. BofA came up billions of dollars short, and both banks plan to contest the findings, according to the report.

Bank of America's annual shareholder meeting will take place on Wednesday. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, said it will vote against re-electing all 18 board members, including CEO Ken Lewis.

An unexpected rise in consumer confidence helped to offset bank capital concerns for the better part of the day. Confidence rose to 39.2 in April from 26.0 in March, while analysts were looking for an uptick to 29.7. The turn higher coincided with a recovery in the stock market, which hit a 12-year low March 9 before rebounding.

Since then, the Dow has climbed more than 20%. Consumer spending is crucial to the economy's growth, and any signs that confidence is on the mend would be welcome on Wall Street. Ultimately, however, the gains wouldn't hold.

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