* Indexes on track for third straight week of gains
* Energy shares weak as crude prices slide
* Priceline helps the S&P 500
* Tesla shares rally for second day
* Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P 500 up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, May 10 U.S. stocks traded mostly flat
on Friday as a sharp drop in commodity prices hit energy and
materials shares, though the S&P 500 drew support from
Priceline's earnings-related gain.
Oil and gold prices tumbled as the U.S. dollar hit a 4-1/2
year-high against the yen and the dollar index was
on track to post its strongest week in 10 months, making
commodities more expensive for holders of different currencies
and weighing on shares in the energy and basic materials
The S&P energy index dropped 1.1 percent as Brent
and U.S. crude oil prices fell. The S&P materials
index slipped 0.5 percent.
Despite Friday's losses, lower oil prices could be another
positive catalyst for stocks, according to Terry Morris, senior
equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in
"All things being equal, low energy prices are good for the
consumer," he said.
Shares of Priceline jumped 3.7 percent to $764.90
and ranked as the S&P 500's top points gainer, a day after the
online travel company reported a first-quarter profit that
topped estimates. Improved hotel and car-rental reservations
helped its bottom line, according to Priceline.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 ended lower, breaking a five-day
streak of record closing highs. But investors expect shares to
keep trending higher, given the Federal Reserve's accommodative
monetary environment and encouraging data on the labor market,
including Thursday's jobless claims numbers and last week's
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.75 points or
0.06 percent, to 15,072.87. The Standard & Poor's 500
gained 1.96 points or 0.12 percent, to 1,628.63. The Nasdaq
Composite added 18.56 points or 0.54 percent, to
For the week, the Dow is up 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 is up
0.9 percent and the Nasdaq is up 1.5 percent. This is the third
straight week of gains for all three indexes.
Shares of electric carmaker Tesla Motors jumped
11.7 percent to $77.52, adding to Thursday's gain of 24.4
percent and making it one of the top advancers on the Nasdaq
Tesla is part of a group of companies with heavy bets
against them from investors. Recent upbeat results have
triggered a wave of short covering.
In contrast, shares of Hess Corp slid 2.1 percent to
$69.47. Its chief executive John Hess, son of the company's
founder, is being stripped of his chairman duties as the oil and
gas company scrambles to avoid an embarrassing defeat by an
Rare earths producer Molycorp Inc reported a
first-quarter loss that widened from the previous year, though
revenue rose sharply, driving its stock up 29.3 percent to
Pain Therapeutics Inc shares plummeted 48.9 percent
to $2.72 after the company said that Pfizer Inc, its
marketing partner for painkiller Remoxy, has yet to decide on
continuing to seek regulatory approval for the drug.
With 89 percent of the S&P 500 companies having reported
earnings so far, 66.7 percent have topped profit expectations,
above the average since 1994 of 63 percent. However, only 46.4
percent have beaten revenue expectations, well under the average
since 2002 of 62 percent.