* PepsiCo climbs after results
* Rite Aid to buy EnvisionRx for about $2 billion
* Pier 1 tumbles after outlook cut
* Indexes down: Dow 0.55 pct, S&P 0.45 pct, Nasdaq 0.08 (Updates to afternoon, adds commentary)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as investors worried about how much risk they should take on while they waited for the outcomes of major talks involving Greece and Ukraine.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met with euro zone finance ministers on Wednesday after his new leftist-led government won a parliamentary confidence vote for its refusal to extend an international bailout.
The meeting included discussion of what could constitute a “bridge agreement” for Greece once its bailout expires on Feb. 28, a Greek government official told Reuters. But the chairman of the meeting, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, had said ahead of the meeting that talks will likely be inconclusive.
Adding to the market’s uncertainty, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine began peace talks in Belarus, while in Ukraine pro-Moscow separatists tightened the pressure on Kiev by launching some of the war’s worst fighting.
“All traders really want to have is clarity around the Greek situation and secondly what’s going to come of the Russia, Ukraine potential ceasefire talks,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “Until we have more clarity around those two the market is going to remain mixed.”
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 98.89 points, or 0.55 percent, to 17,769.87, the S&P 500 lost 9.31 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,059.28 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.00 points, or 0.08 percent, to 4,783.65.
PepsiCo rose 1.8 percent to $99.85 after the soft drinks maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it would buy back shares worth up to $12 billion by 2018.
Despite some high-profile earnings misses from large multinational companies, largely as a result of dollar strength, Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning showed 72.4 percent of the 352 S&P 500 components that have reported earnings topped expectations, above the 69 percent beat rate in the past four quarters. The earnings growth rate for the quarter stands at 6.7 percent.
Rite Aid jumped 9.5 percent to $8.30. The drugstore operator said it would buy privately-held pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx for about $2 billion.
Pier 1 Imports plunged 22 percent after the furniture retailer cut its 2015 profit forecast, citing weak January and February sales.
After the closing bell, earnings are expected from Applied Materials, Cisco Systems, TripAdvisor and Whole Foods Market.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,027 to 1,003, for a 2.02-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,583 issues fell and 1,041 advanced for a 1.52-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 was posting 31 new 52-week highs and 1 low; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 62 new highs and 41 lows. (Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)