US STOCKS-Wall St lower as investors await corporate earnings

Reuters

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    * U.S. consumer prices post first drop in nine months
    * GM surges on upbeat 2019 earnings outlook 
    * Drop in oil prices drags energy stocks lower
    * Technology stocks weigh on S&P, Nasdaq 
    * Indexes down: Dow 0.41 pct, S&P 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.57 pct

 (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)
    By Sruthi Shankar
    Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday, as
investors booked profits after a five-day rally and reset
positions ahead of an earning season that begins next week.
    The rally, which was powered by hopes of a China-U.S. trade
deal, strong jobs data and dovish Federal Reserve views, added 6
percent to the S&P 500  .SPX  and lifted it by about 10 percent
from the 20-month low it touched around Christmas.
    "We've run up and people seem to be in a wait-and-watch mode
 before they put more money back in," said Mark Grant, chief
global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc in Fort Lauderbale,
Florida.
    Big banks will kick off fourth-quarter earnings season, with
Citigroup Inc  C.N  reporting on Monday, followed by big lenders
JPMorgan  JPM.N  and Bank of America  BAC.N .
    The S&P 500 banks index  .SPXBK  was trading flat, with
support from Citigroup's 1.0 percent rise after announcing more
access to hedge fund ValueAct Capital.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZB0MU 
    After worries of a slowdown in global growth sparked a
selloff in the final quarter of 2018, investors will parse the
earnings reports and projections for signs of deceleration in
the economy.
    The S&P 500 companies on average are seen posting 14.5
percent growth in fourth-quarter profit, according to IBES data
from Refinitiv. However, expectations for growth in 2019 are at
6.4 percent, down from 7.3 percent on Jan. 1.
    General Motors  GM.N  shares surged 8 percent after the No.1
U.S. automaker gave a strong earnings forecast for 2019, powered
by its revamped and highly-profitable pickup truck lineup.
Shares of Ford Inc  F.N  rose 1.7 percent.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3X2
    This stands in sharp contrast to recent sales warnings from
Apple Inc  AAPL.O  and Macy's Inc  M.N  due to weakness in the
crucial holiday-quarter.
    Data showed U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in
nine months in December amid a plunge in gasoline prices, but
underlying inflation pressures remained firm as rental housing
and healthcare costs rose steadily.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nUSNBCEFP7 
    At 11:42 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was down 98.41 points, or 0.41 percent, at 23,903.51, the S&P
500  .SPX  was down 9.31 points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,587.33
and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  was down 40.01 points, or 0.57
percent, at 6,946.06.
    The technology stocks  .SPLRCT  which led the recent surge,
fell 0.45 percent, dragging the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lower.
Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O  fell 1.6 percent and Apple Inc  AMZN.O 
dropped 1.1 percent.
    Netflix Inc's  NFLX.O  shares, which have jumped more than
20 percent this year, were up 3.6 percent, with analysts turning
optimistic about subscriber trends ahead of its earnings next
week.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3KW
    The S&P industrial index  .SPLRCI  fell 0.50 percent,
weighed down by 1.1 percent drop in Caterpillar  CAT.N  after
Goldman Sachs cut earnings forecast for 2018-2020.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3U3
    Activision Blizzard Inc  ATVI.O  fell 9.5 percent, leading
the decliners on the S&P 500, after the video game publisher
transferred full publishing rights for its "Destiny" game
franchise to video game developer Bungie.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3H2
    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.50-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and for a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and no new lows,
while the Nasdaq recorded 13 new highs and 8 new lows.

 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)
 ((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6328; Reuters Messaging:
sruthi.shankar.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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