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US stocks fall on economic recovery worries

05-14-2010 10:28 BJT Special Report: Europe's Debt Crisis |

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US stocks fell on Thursday as downbeat comments on the economy from retail chain Kohl's cast doubt on the strength of the US recovery. Bank stocks were also weak. Reports are out that New York's attorney general is examining eight banks to determine whether they misled ratings agencies about mortgage securities.

It was a lackluster trading day with worries about the technology sector casting doubt on the strength of the economic recovery.

Cisco Systems fueled those jitters. The top executive at the world's largest maker of networking gear says he cautious about the U.S. economic rebound because the labor market remains rather weak.

Data out of the Labor Department seemed to confirm his worries. Unemployment claims did not drop as much as expected in the last week, while the number of Americans receiving extended benefits surprisingly rose.

Wall Street is facing new legal woes tied to its activities leading up to the subprime mortgage blow-up. Some of Wall Street's biggest international firms - Deutsche Bank, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase are the subjects of a sweeping criminal probe, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission is working on that investigation. Meanwhile, the New York Attorney General has launched his own probe.

These investigations mean financial reform is now more likely, as lawmakers get an earful from their constituents, says Columbia University Law Professor John Coffee.

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