* Core U.S. retail sales rise 0.5 percent in April
* Yum Brands falls as monthly Chinese sales drop
* Crude oil falls, pressuring energy companies
* Indexes: Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mostly flat on
Monday as investors paused following a rally that took indexes
to record highs, though a strong read on retail sales limited
declines and the Nasdaq ticked up on a rally in Netflix.
The S&P 500 has jumped more than 14 percent so far this
year, a rally that has repeatedly taken it to record intraday
and closing highs without sustained declines. While the
long-term trend is still viewed as positive, many analysts said
the momentum could wane in the absence of positive catalysts.
Retail sales rose 0.1 percent in April, better than the 0.3
percent drop that had been expected, and returning to growth
following a decline in March.
Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, core sales
rose 0.5 percent. Retail sales account for about 30 percent of
U.S. consumer spending.
"Recent data has been weak, so to see some sturdiness is
important and needed in order for us to move materially higher,"
said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney
Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. "But given the strength we've
had over the past few weeks, it isn't surprising that trading is
a bit indifferent today."
The S&P 500 managed its third straight weekly gain
last week, reaching a record high on Friday. The benchmark had a
five-day streak of record closing highs before settling lower
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 24.04
points, or 0.16 percent, at 15,094.45. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 1.41 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,635.11.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.40 points, or 0.24
percent, at 3,444.99.
Netflix Inc jumped 4.2 percent to $226.81 as one of
the biggest advancing stocks in the S&P 500, helping to keep the
Nasdaq in slightly positive territory.
Other data showed business inventories were unchanged in
March for a second straight month versus expectations of 0.3
percent rise, suggesting restocking could help second-quarter
Crude oil fell 0.7 percent to $95.39 per barrel,
pressured by a drop to an eight-month low in demand in China.
Luschini, who helps oversee $58 billion in assets, said the
drop in oil and gasoline prices contributed to the strong read
on retail sales, "so it is helpful to see those remain tame.
"However, if we dip below $90 a barrel, that will hurt the
energy sector and could be a signal of lower global growth."
Consol Energy fell 2 percent to $34.14 while
National Oilwell Varco was off 1.4 percent at $67.27.
Yum Brands Inc fell 2.6 percent to $68.54. After the
market closed on Friday, the fast food chain operator posted a
steep decline in Chinese April sales.
With 90 percent of the S&P 500 having reported, 67.2 percent
of companies have topped earnings expectations, according to
Thomson Reuters data, an amount that is even with the average
over the past four quarters. Only 46.9 percent have beaten
revenue expectations, under the 52 percent average over the past
Elan agreed to a $1 billion deal to buy 21
percent of the royalties that U.S. company Theravance
receives from GlaxoSmithKline for its
respiratory drugs. Theravance shares jumped 15 percent to
U.S.-listed shares of Perion Network surged 12
percent to $14.10 after the Israeli consumer Internet company
posted first-quarter earnings.
SoftBank Corp has told banks that their financing
of Dish Network Corp's $25.5 billion rival offer for
Sprint Nextel Corp could hurt their chances of landing a
role in a highly anticipated public offering of Chinese
e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, two sources familiar
with the situation said.
Sprint shares dipped 1.6 percent to $7.24 while Dish lost
1.7 percent to $38.51.