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Stocks fall on weak earnings news

Stocks were down on Wall Street Wednesday as disappointing earning news and a drop in bank stocks weighed on the market. Banks had some of the biggest losses following news that the government filed lawsuits accusing Bank of America of misleading investors.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. A slump in bank stocks held back the market, giving major indexes their first three-day drop since June.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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Disappointing earnings news and a slump in bankstocks tugged the stock market down Wednesday, giving major indexes their first three-day drop since June.

Banks had some of the biggest losses following news that the government filed lawsuits accusing Bank of America of misleading investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.46 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,690.91. Seven of the index's 10 industry groups ended lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48.07 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,470.67. The Nasdaq composite lost 11.76 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,654.01.

The S&P 500 has drifted down 1.1 percent since reaching an all-time high of 1,709.67 on Friday. Trading has been thin this week, and warnings of slowing sales and tepid quarterly results have given investors no reason to push the market higher.

"I'm not concerned about the market being down over a few days given how much it's run up," said Paul Zemsky, the head of multi-asset strategies at ING Investment Management. "Put it in context, and it's not concerning."

The S&P 500 index closed above 1,700 points for the first time last Thursday and has already surged 18.6 percent this year. If the broad-market measure stays put for the rest of 2013, it would still be the S&P 500's best year since 2009.

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