NEW YORK - Stock prices fell yesterday, led by financial-services shares, on concerns that trouble in the mortgage industry would erode the U.S. economy's expansion.
The stock market's decline followed a week in which the Dow Jones industrial average made its biggest weekly point gain in more than four years, rising nearly 391 points, or 3.01 percent.
Lincoln Anderson, chief investment officer and chief economist at LPL Financial Services in Boston, said investors were uncertain about where stocks would head after last week's gains and were awaiting economic readings such as the employment report due Friday.
"I think what we've got is a market that's trying to sort out whether we're seeing a big shift in the economic and investment fundamentals here or whether we're just going to continue to slog along," he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57.15, or 0.43 percent, to 13,314.57 yesterday.
Broader stock indicators were also lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 8.72, or 0.59 percent, to 1,472.42, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 23.83, or 0.90 percent, to 2,637.13.
Last week's advance proved short-lived after a pair of Federal Reserve officials expressed worry yesterday about the subprime-mortgage crisis and its impact on banks and brokerages.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said in a speech that he was concerned that home foreclosures might worsen as overall economic growth slowed. Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen labeled growth in the final three months of this year as being "only very meager," and warned that housing problems could spill over into consumer spending.
Besides a flagging economy, investors appeared unsure about the timing and details of a planned government-sponsored rescue of the mortgage industry.
Investors also considered a report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed growth in the manufacturing sector slowed in November, though by not as much as analysts had expected.
Investors are awaiting the November jobs report, which could indicate the direction of the consumer spending that is seen as crucial to maintaining economic growth.
Shares of Citigroup Inc. fell 24 cents yesterday to $33.06, while Bank of America Corp. fell 66 cents to close at $45.47.
In corporate news, Vivendi S.A. said it planned to acquire a controlling stake in Activision Inc. to combine it with Vivendi Games and create a rival to Electronic Arts Inc. Activision and Vivendi valued the combined company at $18.9 billion. Activision jumped $2.82, or 12.73 percent, to $24.97.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 7.80, or 1.02 percent, to 759.97.