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Stocks End Lower on Global Fears; Banks Gain
28 Mar 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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Stocks eased off their worst levels but still finished lower Wednesday, led by materials and energy, amid worries over weakness overseas.

All three major indexes tumbled 1 percent across the board at their session lows.

Despite the day's pullback, stocks are still poised to log their best quarterly gain in almost 14 years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 71.52 points, or 0.54 percent, to close at 13,126.21, led by Alcoa and Caterpillar. Still, the blue-chip index is still on track to log its sixth-consecutive month of gains.

AmEx and BofA led the Dow gainers.

The S&P 500 declined 6.98 points, or 0.49 percent, to finish at 1,405.54. The Nasdaq fell 15.39 points, or 0.49 percent, to end at 3,104.96.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished below 16 after spiking nearly 10 percent earlier in the session.

Most of the key S&P sectors closed lower, led by materials and energy, while financials popped into positive territory.

Despite the day’s selloff, stocks are still on track to log their best quarter since 1998.

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