Bank of America -- which a few weeks ago agreed to buy Countrywide Financial Corp. -- took a $5.28 billion charge on its collateralized debt obligation holdings in the fourth quarter. BoA saw its earnings plunge by 94% in the period to just $268 million. Over the past few days, investment bankers have speculated that BoA could back out of the Countrywide deal entirely, or at the very least ask for a reduction on the $4 billion purchase price. In trading early Tuesday morning, BoA's share price was down 6%, Countrywide's 13%. Bank of America can be found online at http://www.bankofamerica.com.

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