US STOCKS-Oil slide drags on Wall St; S&P poised for best week of 2016
* Data points to firming inflation trends
* Crude falls 4 pct; energy leads losses
* Applied Materials jumps on outlook, props Nasdaq
* Dow down 0.36 pct, S&P down 0.22 pct, Nasdaq up 0.23 pct (Updates to late afternoon)
By Lewis Krauskopf
Feb 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street dipped on Friday, hurt by a drop in oil prices and disappointing earnings from Nordstrom, while investors digested inflation data that could raise prospects for further interest rate hikes this year.
The Nasdaq edged higher, helped by a 7.9 percent rise in Applied Materials after the chip equipment provider gave a strong profit and revenue forecast for the current quarter.
The major indexes stayed on track for their best weekly performances this year, with the Nasdaq on pace for its strongest week since July.
The S&P 500 remains down 6.4 percent this year, hurt by oil's prolonged slide and fears of China-led slowdown in the global economy. Continuación...