NEW YORK (Reuters) - Financial stocks led a drop on Wall Street on Friday as results from big banks failed to enthuse and fear of broader conflict in Syria further unnerved investors.
The S&P banks index fell 2.6 percent and the broader S&P financial index lost 1.6 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, dropped 2.7 percent after the bank’s quarterly profit fell slightly short of expectations. JPMorgan shares were the biggest weight on the S&P 500.
Wells Fargo sank 3.4 percent after the bank said it may have to pay a penalty of $1 billion to resolve investigations, while Citigroup dropped 1.6 percent despite beating profit estimates.
Weak loan growth weighed on bank shares, said RJ Grant, head of trading at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in New York.
“If you didn’t own financials going into the quarter, there was nothing in the numbers today that would make you excited about owning them,” Grant said.
U.S. stocks extended losses on Friday after the State Department said that it had proof that Syria carried out a recent chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma.
The renewed possibility of a strike in Syria “is enough to cause heartburn for the market,” said Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas. “There’s a ton of uncertainty right now so investors don’t want to go into the weekend particularly long.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,360.14, the S&P 500 lost 7.69 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,656.3 and