US STOCKS-Earnings drag Wall St lower even as oil steadies
* S&P tech sector worst performer on S&P 500
* Microsoft drag on all three indexes
* Indexes down: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.43 pct, Nasdaq 1.39 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
April 22 (Reuters) - Disappointing earnings reports from Microsoft and other major companies pushed Wall Street lower on Friday, overshadowing a surge in oil prices which lifted energy shares.
Microsoft was the biggest drag on all three major indexes.
Crude rose about 1.5 percent on signs of strong U.S. gasoline consumption, declining production around the world and oilfield outages.
With oil hovering near five-month highs and recent economic data indicating a sluggish pace of economic growth globally, earnings have become a major swing factor for stocks.
The S&P 500 has staged a recovery from a steep selloff earlier this year and is inching towards its all-time high, helped also by a cautious Federal Reserve and companies beating tempered estimates. The index is up half a percent for the week. Continuación...