* PepsiCo climbs after results
* Pier 1 tumbles after outlook cut
* Indexes: Dow off 0.37 pct, S&P off 0.28 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct (Updates to late 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 wait for the outcomes of major talks involving Greece and Ukraine.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis began tense talks 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. International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde said going into the meeting that the process would likely take time.
After trading flat in the morning, the market became more choppy after midday as some investors grew impatient for news.
“Ultimately I don’t think it can be resolved any time soon,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc in San Antonio. “Some people are anticipating a quick solution.”
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.
At 2:30PM the Dow Jones industrial average fell 66.11 points, or 0.37 percent, to 17,802.65, the S&P 500 lost 5.72 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,062.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.91 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,792.55.
The utilities sector was the worst performer as investors moved out of the high-yielding stocks ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this year. It was down 2.5 percent in late afternoon trade and has fallen almost 8 percent since its 2015 peak on Jan. 28.
PepsiCo rose 1.8 percent to $99.85 after the soft drinks maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and announced share buyback plans.
Wal-Mart shares fell 1.3 percent and helped drag down the Dow Jones Industrial Average after it said it would make investments to expand in Canada.
Despite some high-profile earnings misses from big 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.
After the close, earnings are expected from Applied Materials, Cisco Systems, TripAdvisor and Whole Foods Market.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,863 to 1,184, for a 1.57-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,506 issues fell and 1,156 advanced for a 1.30-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 33 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 65 new highs and 45 new lows. (Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)