US stocks down in early trade; Boeing, Wells Fargo fall

US stocks fell in early trade Friday, with Wells Fargo dropping as it reported narrowing margins and Boeing falling on news of an official safety probe into its new 787 Dreamliner.

At 10:15 am (1515 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 21.54 points (0.16 percent) to 13,449.68.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 3.54 points (0.24 percent) to 1,468.58, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 4.28 (0.14 percent) to 3,118.48.

Wells Fargo, the country's fourth largest bank, fell 1.1 percent after its earnings beat analyst estimates but revealed that its net interest margins had narrowed.

Boeing shares dropped 2.5 percent after the Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation into safety issues on its 787 aircraft following several incidents in the past week.

Boeing issued a statement saying it "is confident in the design and performance of the 787."

The Wells Fargo earnings pushed other bank shares lower, with Bank of America and Citigroup losing 1.7 percent, and JPMorgan Chase losing 1.3 percent.

American Express bucked the trend, gaining 1.5 percent, after announcing late Thursday that it would eliminate 5,400 jobs in 2013, 8.5 percent of its workforce, to cut costs and adjust to customers' turn to mobile and computer platforms.

Stocks were also pressed lower by a sharp widening of the US trade deficit in November, which analysts said implied slower than expected economic growth for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.91 percent from 1.89 percent late Thursday, while the 30-year rose to 3.09 percent from 3.08 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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