The Dow fell 177 points on Friday. The S&P 500 lost 27. The Nasdaq declined 114.
JPMorgan Chase, America's largest bank, beat quarterly forecasts. It released nearly $3 billion from the reserve fund set up to cover loans it feared would go bad after the economy cratered in the spring. It did throw a note of caution out there that load demand was likely to remain sluggish this year.
Citigroup topped profit forecasts but higher costs and a fall in revenues at its consumer business dented any enthusiasm for the results. It released $1-1/2 billion that it set aside to cover loan defaults.
Wells Fargo rounded out the day with a small rise in quarterly profits, which helped the tarnish bank exceed estimates. Its finances are still hampered by a series of past scandals.
Wells Fargo was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500. JPMorgan was down 1.8 percent. Citigroup took a 7 percent beating.
Another thing weighing on the market: President-elect Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan released the day before. With the Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, investors like Mercadien Asset Management's Ken Kamen wonder how much of the Biden plan will even see the light of day.
"Well, now you have a chance to start looking at the details. When it was just this thing that was on the way and was going to be big and we didn't know what it was, you know, it kind of had excitement... and not that it doesn't have excitement, it's just now we're going to start parsing the details. What's going to be able to make it through? And will all of the components actually come to fruition?"
Investors also had to contend with mixed economic data. U.S. retail sales suffered their third straight monthly drop in December, confirming signs the economy ended the year in a struggle. But there was a bright spot, manufacturing output increased more than expected last month.