WaMu shares battered by capital concerns
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Washington Mutual shares continued their downward spiral as investors wagered on which financial firm could be next to fall. WaMu plunged 73 cents or 26.7 percent to close at two dollars after losing 36 percent last week.
Shares have continued to fall in after-hours trading, dropping 16 cents or 8 percent to a dollar and 84 cents. The stock is down about 85 percent for the year, and Standard & Poor's Ratings Service cut its counterparty credit rating on WaMu late Monday to the junk level, double-B-minus, from triple-b-minus.
The stock was downgraded last week by Moody's and Fitch last week. The Seattle-based thrift has significant exposure to risky mortgage securities and other assets, and concern about whether WaMu has enough capital to ride out the credit crisis has been mounting. Investors were further spooked Monday by the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America.
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