Investors zero in on bank earnings on Wall Street

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Bank earnings are taking the focus on Wall Street. So far, the results have been mixed.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported Wednesday its profit dropped 53 percent in the fourth quarter due to sharp declines in its investment banking businesses. Revenue declined 10 percent. It shares dropped 3.2 percent in pre-market dealings.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. posted earnings that were lower than analysts expected, sending its shares down 2.3 percent ahead of the market opening.

But Wells Fargo & Co. said its profits shot up after it set aside less money to cover bad loans. Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. also recently reported stronger earnings after loan losses declined. Wells Fargo shares slipped 34 cents to $32.15 in pre-market trading anyway.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 18 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,793. S&P 500 futures are down 4, or 0.3 percent, at 1,290. Nasdaq 100 futures are up less than a point at 2,334.

Traders are also paying attention to technology stocks following solid earnings from Apple and IBM late Tuesday.

Apple rose 2 percent in pre-market trading. The company’s net income rose 78 percent in the holiday quarter as customers bought iPhones as fast as Apple could make them. That distracted investors from news that CEO Steve Jobs is taking another medical leave of absence.

IBM rose 2.5 percent ahead of the opening after the company reported a profit that was better than analysts expected, thanks to improvements in the company’s outsourcing services business.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.35 percent from 3.37 percent late Tuesday. Those yields help set interest rates on business and consumer loans, including mortgages.

The dollar fell 0.7 percent against an index of six other heavily traded currencies.