Citigroup Stock Trades Below $1

Shares of Citigroup traded below the $1 mark for the first time in the company's history. The financial services company used to be worth $57 a share. If it can't get its share price back above $1, it eventually will be de-listed from the stock exchange and become just another penny stock.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Yesterday, the Dow hit a 12-year low. It closed below 6600. Once again, it was financial stocks dragging down the market, as NPRs Chris Arnold.

CHRIS ARNOLD: Ninety-nine cents wont buy you a cup of coffee these days. But yesterday it would have bought you a share of Citigroup stock, which at one point was trading for less than a dollar. Citigroup, once the nations largest and most powerful bank, has seen its stock fall around 98 percent over the past couple of years. Many other financial firms have also suffered massive declines.

Mr. MARK ZANDI (Moodyseconomy.com): Investors in the financial stocks dont really know how much of the bank they own.

ARNOLD: Mark Zandi heads up Moodyseconomy.com. He says theres a lot of uncertainty over how much more ownership the governments going to take as it keeps bailing out big banks like Citi. So most investors have just dumped these financial stocks. But theyre also running away from all sorts of other companies. Scott Cleland is the president of Precursor LLC, a stock research firm.

Mr. SCOTT CLELAND (Precursor LLC): Whats happening, whats so perverse right now is if a company doesnt have credit problems, their stock is still being hammered, theyre being dragged down for something that isnt a problem for them. Not only are they being dragged down, theyre being dunked, because the whole stock market is just, you know, so, so negative because of the credit crisis.

ARNOLD: Cleland thinks a lot of technology companies, for example, are getting unfairly beaten down.

Chris Arnold, NPR News.

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