US STOCKS-Wall St edges up as Wells fails to inspire; energy drags

Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:23pm EDT

* Indexes on track for worst week since April

* Wells Fargo falls, more banks' earnings due next week

* Internet names help support the Nasdaq

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq up 0.4 pct (Updates to afternoon)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose slightly on Friday but major indexes remained on track for their biggest weekly declines in months as investors showed tepid enthusiasm for their first glimpses of earnings reports and a drop in oil prices dented energy stocks.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Co., down 0.5 percent at $51.54, were in the spotlight as the biggest U.S. mortgage lender was the first major U.S. bank to report earnings. Wells Fargo's results will be followed next week by earnings from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.

"Wells came in a little light, and while there was nothing really wrong with the quarter, it is one of the few banks that can be counted on to beat profit expectations and that didn't happen," said Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager at Federated Investors in Rochester, New York. "Earnings look like they might be a little light."

Energy shares also slipped as oil prices declined, with crude hitting a two-month low on Friday. In addition, Chevron said it expects second-quarter profit to "be higher" than the first-quarter results, which were 40 cents below the current estimate for the second quarter. Chevron's stock fell 1.6 percent to $128.19 and ranked among the biggest drags on the Dow.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8.76 points, or 0.05 percent, to 16,923.83. The S&P 500 gained 1.40 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,966.08. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 17.29 points, or 0.39 percent, to 4,413.49.

The stock of General Electric Co rose 1.03 percent to $26.47 and was among the Dow's biggest gainers a week ahead of the company's second-quarter earnings report.

Internet companies supported the Nasdaq, with Amazon.com Inc up 5.4 percent at $345.72, and eBay Inc up 2.4 percent at $51.54.

The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was GeoPark Ltd, up 8.25 pct, while the largest percentage decliner was MGIC Investment, down 11.74 percent.

Advancing issues were outnumbering declining ones on the NYSE by 1,506 to 1,481, for a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the upside. On the Nasdaq, 1,309 issues were falling and 1,256 were advancing for a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

In a cautious signal, the S&P 500 remained under its 14-day moving average, a sign of weak near-term momentum.

Whirlpool Corp rose 1.1 percent to $140.73 after the company agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in its smaller Italian rival Indesit Company SpA for about $1 billion.

Reynolds American Inc confirmed it is in talks to acquire Lorillard Inc in a multibillion-dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc. Shares of Reynolds tumbled 2 percent to $61.02 while Lorillard's stock jumped 4 percent to $65.60 and ranked as one of the S&P 500's biggest gainers. (Editing by Jan Paschal)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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