From Rueters

The lender said there was "no substance to the rumor that Countrywide is planning to file for bankruptcy, and we are not aware of any basis for the rumor that any of the major rating agencies are contemplating negative action relative to the company," but its shares closed down $2.09 at $5.55, their lowest close since 1996.

Countrywide has said it has sufficient liquidity to operate, but credit rating agency Egan-Jones Ratings Co said on Tuesday the company "is severely challenged and might falter if it does not receive an infusion of at least $4 billion within the next couple of weeks."

Shares of Countrywide have fallen 86.9 percent in the last year. Tuesday’s decline pulled the KBW Mortgage Finance Index .MFX down 7.1 percent and the Standard & Poor’s Financials Index down 3.6 percent. Other decliners included mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc (IMB.N: Quote, Profile, Research), down 10.9 percent, and bond insurer MBIA Inc (MBI.N: Quote, Profile, Research), down 20.8 percent.