NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Zions Bancorporation ( ZION) was the loser among the largest U.S. banks on Tuesday, with shares declining 4% to close at $19.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1% and the S&P 500 ( SPX.X) and NASDAQ Composite each saw smaller declines, as worry over the Fiscal Cliff overshadowed decent economic reports. The Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders were unchanged in October after increasing by a revised 9.2% in September. Excluding the transportation component, orders rose 1.5%, compared with a downwardly revised increase of 1.7% the previous month. Economists, on average, had expected orders to fall 0.6% in October and decline 0.5%, excluding transportation, according to Briefing.com. There was continuing evidence of a sustained housing recovery, as the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index showed a year-over-year increase of 3% in September after an increase of 2% in August. Economists were expecting a 2.9% year-on-year increase in September. Shares of Bank of America ( BAC) were down 2% to close at $9.66, one day after Guggenheim analyst Marty Mosby issued a " trading sell " call on the company, despite his long-term "Buy" rating for the company's shares. Mosby said on Monday called Bank of America "one of the leading candidates for a significant correction if the pressure on the U.S. economy from the Fiscal Cliffs begins to build." Although the analyst's long-term price target for the shares is $12, he said that "BAC could trade below $8 over the next three months if it becomes apparent that the U.S. economy is about to be pushed over several of the upcoming Fiscal Cliffs."
The Fiscal Cliff Drama.
Considering that the media and investors are likely to cheer an agreement between Congress and President Obama to avert the Fiscal Cliff and raise the federal debt ceiling yet again, without taking firm action to trim the federal deficit by a significant amount, it would appear that the politicians in Washington have made a marvelous effort to encourage the public to celebrate their continued irresponsibility. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said that there had been "little progress" in negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, and that "we have to get away from the happy talk and start talking about specific things," according to a Reuters report. Reid did throw a carrot the GOP, saying he was "extremely hopeful, and I do not believe that the Republicans are going to allow us to go over the cliff."