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Wall Street's five-day rally falters ahead of earnings

Reuters 

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged about 0.4 percent lower on Friday as investors booked profits after a five-day rally and reset positions ahead of the earning season, which will begin with big banks next week.

The rally - built on optimism over China-U.S. trade talks, strong U.S. jobs data and the Federal Reserve's promise of patience with interest rate hikes - added 6 percent to the S&P 500 <.SPX>, lifting it about 10 percent from the 20-month low it hit around

"We're viewing today a little bit of a breather. The fact that we've been up so many days in a row, it's not surprising to see a little bit of a break," said Chad Oviatt, at in Columbus,

The S&P financial index <.SPSY> was trading flat, shrugging off earlier losses. , which will report earnings on Monday, rose 0.9 percent after agreeing to give shareholder more access to its books and board of directors.

"Most investors are going to be gauging them (banks) on a little bit of a broader economic base than normal, in that interest rates and Fed are going to have an impact," said Oviatt.

The consumer staples <.SPLRCS> and real estate sectors <.SPLRCR> logged slight gains. Nine of the 11 S&P sectors were lower, led by the energy index's <.SPNY> 0.9 percent fall as dropped after nine days of gains. [O/R] U.S. stocks took a severe beating in the last quarter of 2018 due to worries over trade, rate hikes and a slowdown in global growth, leaving investors worried that U.S. corporate profit may not match the roughly 25-percent growth rate in the first three quarters.

The S&P 500 companies on average are estimated to have posted 14.5 percent growth in fourth-quarter profit, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

That is lower than the 20.1 percent growth estimated three months back as cut forecasts after warnings from marquee companies, including and Macy's Inc .

bucked that trend on Friday with a strong earnings forecast for 2019, sending the automaker's shares surging 8.6 percent.

At 1:13 p.m. ET, the <.DJI> was down 100.19 points, or 0.42 percent, at 23,901.73, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 8.71 points, or 0.34 percent, at 2,587.93 and the <.IXIC> was down 33.11 points, or 0.47 percent, at 6,952.96.

Technology stocks <.SPLRCT>, which led the recent surge, fell 0.5 percent as was down 1.8 percent and Apple dropped 1.2 percent.

, already up over 20 percent this year, rose another 3.5 percent on analysts' optimistic forecasts for subscriber growth ahead of its earnings next week.

slid over 10 percent, the most on the S&P, after it transferred publishing rights for its "Destiny" video game franchise to Bungie.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs or lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and eight new lows.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Arun Koyyur)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 00:25 IST
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