Wall Street Slips as Financials Drag


U.S. stocks dropped more than 1 percent on Wednesday, dragged down by financial stocks, a day after JPMorgan signaled a rough first quarter and oil prices continued to fall.

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All 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 1.8 percent decline in financials <.SPSY>, already the worst performing sector this year.

JP Morgan <JPM.N> was down 2.3 percent at $54.81 after the bank forecast double-digit declines in investment banking revenue and raised its provisions for energy loan losses.

The bank's warning weighed on other lenders, which are bracing for defaults from oil and gas companies and face the brunt of volatile financial markets.

"For the near term, volatility stays and will hinge on what happens in the crude market, whether we like it or not, and will determine the assumption of risk," said Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer of Bryn Mawr Trust in Devon, Pennsylvania..

U.S. crude was down nearly 3 percent, also pressured by data showing an increase in stockpiles. Shares of Chevron <CVX.N> were down 1.3 percent, while Exxon <XOM.N> fell 1.2 percent.

Stocks have closely tracked oil prices this year. The S&P 500 <.SPX> is down 6 percent for the year up to Tuesday's close, while the Nasdaq composite <.IXIC> has shed more than 10 percent.

At 11:05 a.m. ET (1605 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 208.8 points, or 1.27 percent, at 16,222.98.

The S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 23.89 points, or 1.24 percent, at 1,897.38 and the Nasdaq Composite index <.IXIC> was down 59.89 points, or 1.33 percent, at 4,443.69.

Investors will also analyze comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for clues on the central bank's view on the state of the economy ahead of its meeting next month.

While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that the central bank is likely to stick to its plan to raise rates gradually this year, other policymakers have expressed caution about pressing ahead amid the turbulence in global markets.

Boeing <BA.N> was down 3.2 percent at $113.17 after Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the stock.

Ford <F.N> was down 5.4 percent and General Motors <GM.N> was off 4.6 percent after Credit Suisse said it was a "poor time" to own auto stocks.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,289 to 625. On the Nasdaq, 1,864 issues fell and 703 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and four lows, while the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 82 lows.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)