Wells Fargo Boosts Dividend - TheStreet

Wells Fargo Boosts Dividend

It makes the move after Countrywide ignites a sectorwide selloff.
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Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

boosted its quarterly dividend by 11% late Tuesday as the big bank seeks to shore up the swooning financial sector.

The San Francisco bank raised its quarterly payout to 31 cents from 28 cents, payable Sept. 1 to shareholders of record Aug. 10. The dividend announcement comes on a day when financial stocks accelerated their recent decline following more bad news in the mortgage sector.

Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

, the largest independent mortgage company, warned that rising delinquencies and defaults were spreading beyond the subprime industry into some so-called prime mortgage categories such as home equity loans.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender's CEO, Angelo Mozilo, said he doesn't see a housing recovery until 2009. The comments sent Countrywide shares tumbling 10% and led to steep declines in shares of other banks and lenders.

Wells' stock dropped 92 cents, or 2.6%, to $33.93 in regular trading, though shares picked up 31 cents in late action.