US STOCKS-Wall St inches up, but stays shy of record; oil drags
* Bank of America rises on profit beat
* Chip stocks rise on SoftBank deal to buy ARM Holdings
* Oil drops, leads energy stocks lower
* Indexes up: Dow 0.06 pct, S&P 0.18 pct, Nasdaq 0.52 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
July 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street eked out gains on Monday as Bank of America's better-than-expected profit boosted optimism about the U.S. quarterly earnings season, but not by enough to send the Dow and the S&P 500 to fresh highs.
SoftBank's $32 billion deal to buy British chip designer ARM Holdings lifted U.S. chip stocks, but that was pertly offset by a drop in energy stocks as oil prices dropped after the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Bank of America's report continued the momentum for U.S. banks kicked off by JPMorgan last week. The bank's shares rose 1.6 percent to $13.87, helping the S&P financial index gain 0.36 percent.
"We're now on to the next shiny new object and that's earnings season," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. Continuación...