* Oil prices fall; U.S. crude settles down 5.3 pct
* Freeport drops; China worries weigh on materials shares
* McKesson, Celgene slump on weak profit forecasts
* Indexes: Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct (Updates to late afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
Jan 11 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 ended a volatile session up slightly on Monday in a late turnaround, but a drop in biotechs and energy shares kept a lid on the market.
The start of earnings season added to investor nervousness. The Nasdaq ended lower, led by a drop in Celgene, which fell 5.5 percent to $103.03 following a disappointing profit forecast.
The Nasdaq Biotech index fell 3.4 percent, its eighth straight down day.
Stocks had their worst five-day start to a year ever following mounting investor concerns about declining oil prices and a China-led slowdown in global growth.
"The fact that we didn't see kind of another washout today kind of emboldened some of investors to think that perhaps, at least on a short-term basis, maybe it was time for the market to bounce a little bit," said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.
Apple was the biggest positive for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. It rose 1.6 percent to $98.53 after reports that its music streaming service hit the 10 million-subscriber mark in six months.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 52.12 points, or 0.32 percent, to 16,398.57, the S&P 500 gained 1.64 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,923.67 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.64 points, or 0.12 percent, to 4,637.99.
Stocks turned around late in the session, and the CBOE Volatility Index finished down 10 percent.
"The market is very stretched to the downside. Being oversold doesn't mean it's over, but nonetheless these things only go so far before you get at least some kind of relief rally," said Frank Gretz, market analyst and technician for Wellington Shields & Co. in New York.
The S&P energy sector dropped 2.8 percent following another sharp drop in oil prices, while the health sector declined 1.2 percent.
Shares of McKesson dropped 10.3 percent to $163.55, also following a disappointing profit forecast.
Among materials stocks, Freeport-McMoRan tumbled 20.3 percent to $4.31.
Overall, quarterly corporate earnings are expected to have declined 4.2 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,003 to 1,069, for a 1.87-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,743 issues fell and 1,081 advanced for a 1.61-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week high and 111 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 416 new lows. (Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski)