July 16, 2018 / 8:35 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500 dips as energy shares fall, but financials bounce

* Energy stocks fall as crude prices tumble

* Bank of America’s strong results lift financials

* June U.S. retail sales up

* Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Monday following a drop in oil prices that weighed on energy shares and offset a jump in financials as Bank of America’s results reinforced expectations of a strong U.S. earnings season.

The S&P energy sector fell 1.2 percent, leading percentage declines among the 11 major S&P sectors. Shares of Exxon Mobil slid 1.0 percent and Chevron fell 0.9 percent. The stocks were among the biggest drags on the benchmark index, along with Microsoft, down 0.5 percent.

Oil prices slumped more than 4 percent as Libyan ports reopened and traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other producers.

Bank stocks rose, reversing their slide on Friday, when JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Well Fargo reported results. The S&P 500 financial index gained 1.8 percent, leading sector gains.

Bank of America rose 4.3 percent after the lender’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ expectations on lower expenses and growth in loans and deposits. Goldman Sachs shares were up 2.2 percent ahead of its results, due Tuesday.

That wasn’t enough to extend recent gains in the S&P 500, which on Friday had its highest close in more than five months.

Investors may be reluctant to make big trades ahead of the pickup in earnings reports this week and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“We’re taking a bit of a break after a good run last week,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44.95 points, or 0.18 percent, to 25,064.36, the S&P 500 lost 2.88 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,798.43 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.26 points, or 0.26 percent, to 7,805.72.

After the bell Monday, Netflix shares were down more than 12 percent after it reported results. The stock ended the regular session up 1.2 percent ahead of its earnings report due after the market’s close.

Sixty S&P 500 companies were due to report this week.

Analysts have forecast second-quarter earnings increased 21.1 percent from a year ago according to Thomson Reuters data.

Of the companies that have reported earnings through last week, 86.7 percent have topped earnings expectations, above the 75-percent average of the past four quarters.

The S&P 500 retail index was up 0.3 percent. U.S. retail sales increased a strong 0.5 percent in June, Commerce Department data showed, indicating consumer spending accelerated in the second quarter.

Among stocks, shares of Arconic jumped 10.5 percent on a report that the maker of aluminum parts used in planes, cars and buildings is the subject of takeover interest from private-equity firms.

Amazon.com Inc edged up 0.5 percent as its ‘Prime Day’ shopping event kicked off.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 65 new lows.

Trading volume was light, with about 5.4 billion shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 6.6 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish)

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