Industry News

Citigroup losses, retail sales spook investors

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An $18.1 billion write-down on investments tied to subprime mortgages at Citigroup Inc. and a report showing a slowdown in retail sales in December prompted a broad sell-off in the stock market Tuesday, with real estate and financial stocks among the hardest hit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 277 points, or more than 2 percent. First American Corp., which announced plans to spin off its title insurance and other finance businesses into a separate company (see Inman News story) was one of the few real estate stocks posting a gain for the day. First American rose 7 percent to $31.44, down 43.1 percent from its 52-week high. In a regulatory filing, Citigroup said its net income for the year was $3.62 billion, on revenue of $81.7 billion. The $18.1 billion in pre-tax write-downs and credit costs were the primary driver in a $9.83 billion loss for the quarter, the company said. Shares of Citigroup fell 7.3 percent, to $26.94, down 51.5 percent from their 52-week high. Although some ...