* Big banks fall; weigh on financial sector
* JP Morgan down after signalling rough first quarter
* Crude prices recoup losses
* Boeing down after Goldman cuts price target
* Indexes down: Dow 0.69 pct, S&P 0.62 pct, Nasdaq 0.33 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were lower on Wednesday, dragged down by financial stocks, as plunging oil prices, low interest rates and turbulent global markets take a toll on banks.
The S&P financial sector, already the worst performing sector this year, fell 1.5 percent and was the biggest loser among the 10 major sectors on the S&P 500.
Shares of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were among the worst hit.
JPMorgan flagged declining investment banking revenue and raised its provisions for energy loan losses, while Morgan Stanley said most of its energy loans were to non-investment grade firms.
However, oil prices recovered in early afternoon trading as data showed U.S. crude inventories increased in line with expectations. The recovery lifted indexes from their session lows.
“For the near term, volatility stays and will hinge on what happens in the crude market, whether we like it or not, and will determine the assumption of risk,” said Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer of Bryn Mawr Trust in Devon, Pennsylvania.
At 13:15 p.m. ET (1815 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 113.34 points, or 0.69 percent, at 16,318.44.
The S&P 500 was down 11.95 points, or 0.62 percent, at 1,909.32 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 14.67 points, or 0.33 percent, at 4,488.92.
The S&P is down 6 percent for the year up to Tuesday’s close, while the Nasdaq has shed more than 10 percent.
Investors will also analyze comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for clues on the central bank’s view on the state of the economy ahead of its meeting next month.
While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that the central bank is likely to stick to its plan to raise rates gradually this year, other policymakers have expressed caution about pressing ahead amid the turbulence in global markets.
Boeing was down 2.6 percent at $113.83 after Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the stock.
Ford was down 4.2 percent at $11.90 and General Motors was off 4 percent at $28.20 after Credit Suisse said it was a “poor time” to own auto stocks.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,941 to 1,014. On the Nasdaq, 1,686 issues fell and 980 rose.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded nine new highs and 90 lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)