NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks moved slightly higher shaking off earlier pressure from the energy sector, and benchmark indexes were on track to clinch monthly gains in July.
The S&P 500 was up 0.17%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.07%. The Nasdaq gained 0.35%.
Earnings from major oilers Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Report and Chevron (CVX) - Get Report pressured the Dow on Friday as they face the challenge of lower oil prices. Exxon shares fell nearly 5% after reporting its lowest profit since 2009 and generating sales one-third lower than a year earlier.
Chevron slid 4.3% after reporting earnings of 30 cents a share, down from $2.98 a share a year earlier. Revenue fell 33% to $36.83 billion but came in slightly above estimates.
Energy stocks sold off in sympathy. BP (BP) - Get Report, ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Report, Statoil (STO) and PetroChina (PTR) - Get Report fell, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report slid 1.3%.
Money is on a September rate hike from the Federal Reserve but the latest data on wages threw some doubt into the ring on Friday. Wages and benefits rose 0.2% in the second quarter, the smallest gain since 1982, according to the Labor Department's Employment Cost Index. Economists had expected a 0.6% gain over the quarter after a 0.7% increase in the first quarter indicated a pickup in wage growth.
Investors have been on alert for any piece of data that could give the Fed pause in its rate-hiking plans. Consensus had been for the central bank to move off of crises-level rates as soon as September as economic conditions in the U.S. steadily improved.
"Today's report could increase uncertainty about the trajectory of wage growth and dampen expectations for a September hike," BNP Paribas analyst Laura Rosner wrote in a note.
Business conditions in the Chicago region improved markedly in July, according to Chicago PMI data. The measure rose to 54.7 in July from 49.4 in June, and marked the highest level since January.
Consumer sentiment fell to 93.1 in July, down from 96.1 in June, according to data from University of Michigan. Economists had expected the measure to fall at a slower pace to 94.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) - Get Report gained more than 7% after beating earnings estimates and reporting an increase in both passenger ticket revenue and onboard revenue over its recent quarter. The cruiseliner company earned 84 cents a share, 9 cents above estimates.
LinkedIn (LNKD) shares were down more than 5% after reporting poor performance from core businesses, primarily display ads. Monthly unique user growth was flat over the quarter at an average of 97 million members.
Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report shares rose 2.6% after the biotech earned $2.57 a share in its recent quarter, 15 cents better than expected, on revenue 3.7% higher than a year earlier. Full-year earnings guidance was also increased.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is reportedly in merger talks with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke in Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal. The three-way merger would seek to consolidate some of the U.S. company's largest international bottling operations.
SoulCycle filed to go public. In its IPO filing, the fitness company said it had achieved 73% studio growth from 2012 to 2014 and hopes to raise $100 million through the float.