NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks edged lower on Friday after Wells Fargo & Co
Wells Fargo, the fourth-biggest U.S. bank and the nation's largest home lender, said its fourth-quarter net interest margin - a key measure of how much money banks make from loans - fell, even as profit jumped 24 percent. The bank also made fewer mortgage loans than in the third quarter.
"It (Wells Fargo results) is weighing on the sector. We are keeping our fingers crossed that this won't be a sector thing and more confined to Wells Fargo, but it's definitely playing a factor today," said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets LLC in Boston.
The bank's shares fell 1.4 percent to $34.92. The S&P 500 financial sector index <.gspf> fell 0.6 percent and the KBW Banks index <.bkx> fell 1 percent. Bank of America Corp
Overall earnings were expected to grow by 1.9 percent in this earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.dji> was up 6.12 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,477.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> was down 2.37 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,469.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.ixic> was down 2.19 points, or 0.07 percent, at 3,119.56.
Also keenly watched Friday were shares of Dow component Boeing
Basic materials shares were pressured after China's annual consumer inflation rate picked up to a seven-month high, narrowing the scope for the central bank to boost the economy by easing monetary policy. The S&P basic materials sector <.gspm> fell 0.6 percent.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum, Nick Zieminski)