* Bank of America props up S&P 500 after results
* Financials’ winning streak would be longest since July
* Seagate sinks after disappointing estimates
* Dow up 0.04 pct, S&P down 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.12 pct (Updates to late afternoon)
By Lewis Krauskopf
April 14 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on Thursday after two days of solid gains as investors digested the latest round of big bank earnings.
Bank of America Corp shares rose 2.8 percent, giving the biggest boost to the S&P 500, after the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets reported a slide in quarterly profit in line with expectations. Wells Fargo shares were up 0.1 percent after the bank’s quarterly report.
Financials, the worst performing sector this year, rose 0.4 percent and were on pace for their fifth straight day of gains, which would be the group’s first such streak since July. BlackRock shares rose 2 percent after the asset manager announced a restructuring.
Results from JPMorgan, the No. 1 U.S. bank by assets, had helped boost the market on Wednesday a day after energy shares led Wall Street higher.
“The earnings were OK but not positive enough, nor was the guidance, to really drive the market up like it went up yesterday and the day before,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “After two strong days, a flat day is not unusual.”
Wall Street’s rocky start to 2016, amid concerns over the global economy, has been followed by a sharp rebound starting in mid-February. Stocks have steadied in April and the S&P 500 is now positive for 2016.
Investors have turned their attention to the quarterly earnings season that kicked into high gear this week. First-quarter profits among S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen 7.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but the diminished expectations could be setting the stage for positive surprises that support stocks.
On Thursday afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 6.44 points, or 0.04 percent, to 17,914.72, the S&P 500 had lost 0.26 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,082.16 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 6.00 points, or 0.12 percent, to 4,941.42.
Telecoms were the second-best performing sector behind financials, while consumer staples lagged the most.
Delta Air Lines shares rose 1.4 percent to $48.71 after reporting profit above analysts’ estimates, while other U.S. airline shares also gained.
Seagate Technology shares were down 19.8 percent at $27.23 after the hard-disk maker estimated third-quarter revenue and adjusted gross margin below its forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,594 to 1,345, for a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,427 issues rose and 1,331 fell for a 1.07-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 44 new highs and 10 new lows. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva and Nick Zieminski)