* Retail sales top expectations
* Biotech stocks lose ground
* Indexes: Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday afternoon, led by losses in healthcare shares.
Biotech stocks were among the biggest decliners in the S&P health care index, which fell 1.1 percent. Gilead was down 2.5 percent and Biogen Idec lost 4.2 percent.
Helping to limit losses was a stronger-than-expected rise in October retail sales.
“Oil prices moving lower would be a net benefit from most people’s perspectives because it frees up so much potential disposable spending on the part of the U.S. consumer,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York.
At 2:07 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 38.31 points, or 0.22 percent, to 17,614.48, the S&P 500 lost 3.98 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,035.35 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.61 points, or 0.12 percent, to 4,674.53.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Newmont Mining, which rose 4.5 percent, while the largest decliner was Biogen.
On the Nasdaq 100, the largest gainer was Amazon, which rose 3.4 percent, and the top decliner was Biogen.
On the Nasdaq, Cisco Systems, up 1.9 percent to $26.18; Apple, up 0.7 percent to $113.61; and Blackberry, down 6.3 percent to $11.30 were among the most actively traded.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,523 to 1,494, for a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,437 issues fell and 1,220 advanced for a 1.18-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 27 new 52-week highs and four new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 61 new highs and 45 new lows. (Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)