February 16, 2017 / 7:36 PM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street rally loses steam as banks and energy weigh

3 Min Read

* Banks stocks drop for first time in six days

* Wells Fargo biggest drag on S&P 500 after rating cut

* Cisco top stock on S&P 500, Nasdaq indexes after results

* Indexes down: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 500 0.30 pct, Nasdaq 0.30 pct (Updates to afternoon)

By Noel Randewich

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street dipped on Thursday, weighed down by energy stocks as oil prices dropped and banks fell broadly for the first time in six days.

Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citigroup weighed more than any other stocks on the S&P 500, which has hit a string of record high in recent sessions on signs of an improving economy and promises by President Donald Trump to cut corporate taxes and regulations.

The so-called "Trump rally" has seen the S&P 500 rise about 5 percent so far in 2017, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 4 percent.

Now, with a strong fourth-quarter earnings season mostly complete, many investors say they need concrete signs of progress from Trump to justify more gains.

"Some of the excitement and enthusiasm over earnings and those Trump growth initiatives is starting to shift to more practical, day-to-day events," said Jeff Kravetz, a Phoenix-based regional investment director of the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

The S&P 500 financial sector fell 0.52 percent, slightly reversing a string of recent record highs. Investors have been betting that higher interest rates and financial deregulation will boost bank profits.

The energy sector declined 1.21 percent, following oil prices lower as traders weighed swelling U.S. inventories against possible renewed efforts by major oil producers to reduce a price-sapping glut.

At 2:17 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.16 percent at 20,579.2 points, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.30 percent to 5,802.02.

The S&P 500 had lost 0.30 percent to 2,342.16. The index ended higher for the seventh session in a row on Wednesday, its first such streak since September 2013.

Wells Fargo slipped 1.18 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded its stock to "neutral" from "outperform".

TripAdvisor sank 9.68 percent and was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P 500 after posting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

NetEase jumped 13.4 percent following the Chinese online game developer's revenue beat.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.70-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.68-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 51 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 132 new highs and 22 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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