By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - Falling energy shares late on Friday jeopardized continuation of Wall Street's five-session rally as investors looked ahead to earnings season, which will kick off with Citigroup, JPMorgan and other big banks next week.
Underpinned by optimism over China-U.S. trade talks and expectations of a slow pace of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, the stock market's recent winning streak added 6 percent to the S&P 500 <.SPX> and left it up about 10 percent from the 20-month low it hit around Christmas.
"We've clawed our way back and now the market is just waiting ahead of the start of earnings season next week," said Donald Selkin, Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities in New York. "We're just drifting."
The financial index <.SPSY> climbed 0.16 percent. Citigroup Inc
JPMorgan Chase & Co
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.
Analysts expect S&P 500 companies' earnings per share to grow by 6.4 percent this year, compared with 23.5 percent in 2018, when they were supercharged by newly enacted corporate tax cuts, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
At 2:44 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 0.2 percent at 23,954.39 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> was 0.14 percent lower at 2,592.88.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 0.28 percent to 6,966.74.
Activision Blizzard Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.06-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 1.12-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs or lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 18 new highs and 8 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)