Updated stock prices, indices throughout.Financial stocks slipped Wednesday, as investors fretted over upcoming earnings reports and the likelihood of economic recovery in the near-term. The NYSE Financial Sector Index closed down 1.5% to 3661.97, as the market prepared for the unofficial start of earnings season with Alcoa's ( AA) report after the bell. Next week, Goldman Sachs ( GS) and Citigroup ( C) are among the big financial companies to report. Both of those stocks traded lower Wednesday, despite news that demand for mortgages picked up again after hitting a seven-month low last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Goldman shares closed down 2.8% to $138.55 and Citi shares lost 2.6% to $2.62. Bank of America ( BAC) shares were shed 2.8% to $11.81, Wells Fargo ( WFC) was off 1.8% to $22.91 and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) lost 10 cents to $32.71. Discover Financial Services ( DFS) shares lost 2.7% to $9.12 after the credit card company on late Tuesday priced a public stock offering it hoped would raise as much as $552 million it may use to repay government bailout money. Larger rival American Express ( AXP) shares fell as much as 2.7% after Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault told CNBC charge-offs continued to rise and he didn't see a recovery until the second half of 2010. But the stock rallied to the close, finishing up 9 cents to $22.72.