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Falling Bank stocks pull Down down

NEW YORK (AFP) – Falling bank shares pulled US stock markets lower at the open Monday, under a cloud of poor economic data and five straight losing weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 41.70 points (0.34 percent) at 12,109.56 at 1400 GMT.

The tech-focused Nasdaq added 0.21 (0.01 percent) to 2,732.99, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 5.03 (0.39 percent) to 1,295.13.

"Global economic uncertainty, courtesy of signs of slowing activity, exacerbated by Friday's dismal US labor report, has hampered sentiment recently," Charles Schwab analysts said.

Bank stocks fell sharply after warnings of continuing risks in the sector and poor economic data that could put pressure their earnings.

Citigroup led the fall, losing 3.7 percent, Bank of America fell 2.3 percent, JPMorgan Chase 2.4 percent; and Wells Fargo 2.6 percent.

Nasdaq held up barely above water with the help of a 2.7 percent jump for Starbucks and a 2.2 percent climb in Dell shares.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10 year Treasury note climbed to 3.03 percent from 2.99 percent late Friday, while the 30-year bond increased to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.