It went from bad to worse for Merrill Lynch on Wednesday when the brokerage announced it wrote down the value of its holdings nearly twice as much as it previously warned.
Shares of Merrill Lynch fell $4.51, or 6.7%, to $62.61, after the brokerage said it swung to a third-quarter loss of $2.3 billion, or $2.82 per share, from $3.0 billion, or $3.50 per share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 45 cents per share.
Merrill was dragged to a loss by bigger-than-expected write-downs on the values of its subprime mortgages and collateralized debt obligations, a type of asset-backed security.
Sell! Sell! Sell!