Energy Shares, Apple Weigh on Wall Street

(Reuters) -

Wall Street slipped on Friday as oil price declines weighed on energy shares and Apple dragged on the market, but major indexes were still poised to post weekly gains.

Energy was the worst performing sector, falling 1.1 percent in afternoon trade. Oil prices fell about 2 percent as traders and analysts anticipate a weekend meeting of major oil exporters will do little to clear global oversupply quickly.

Apple shares dropped 1.8 percent, the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Nikkei business daily reported that the company will continue its reduced production of iPhones in light of sluggish sales.

Citigroup shares edged down 0.6 percent after the company reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit, capping a big week of bank earnings. Financial shares, the worst performing sector this year, fell 0.4 percent and were set to snap a five-session winning streak.

Despite Friday’s declines, the major indexes were set to post their seventh week of gains out of the past nine.

“The recent trend of the market has been to the upside,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. “You’ve got the lack of catalysts today and I think the market is kind of reflecting that,” adding that investors may be taking profits after the recent rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 52.36 points, or 0.29 percent, to 17,874.07, the S&P 500 lost 5.62 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,077.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 17.62 points, or 0.36 percent, to 4,928.26.

Wall Street’s rough start to 2016, amid concerns over the global economy, was followed by a sharp rebound starting in mid-February. Stocks have steadied in April and the S&P 500 is now positive for 2016.

Investors have turned their attention to earnings season, which will intensify next week, as the next major factor influencing the market. First-quarter profits among S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen 7.8 percent, according to Reuters, but the diminished expectations could be setting the stage for positive surprises that support stocks.

Shares of BATS Global Markets jumped 19.5 percent to $22.71 after the exchange operator went public, the first non-healthcare IPO of 2016.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,536 to 1,410, for a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,413 issues rose and 1,329 fell for a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 9 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and 12 new lows.