NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Has the market reaction to earnings for oil service giant Schlumberger ( SLB) set the tone for the rest of the sector, with Halliburton ( HAL) set to report on Monday?

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Shares of Schlumberger opened higher on Friday morning after reporting revenue and earnings above the Street consensus, but the rally fizzled quickly, and by midday Schlumberger shares were down by 1.5%.

Weatherford International ( WFT) was down early in the afternoon on Friday,while Halliburton and Baker-Hughes ( BHI), among the major oil service sector plays, were flat or holding onto marginally positive trading.

Headed into the Schlumberger earnings, the big question was whether the oil service stocks would repeat the third quarter earnings trade, when the stocks reported strong numbers, presented a positive outlook, yet still sold off as event-driven traders booked profits.

Schlumberger presented a picture of its business that was more or less the expectation ahead of its fourth quarter earnings: North America at a peak, yet still strong even if pricing will come down at some point during the year; international activity improving but lacking really specific data points at the present time; and all in all, investors left with the impression that international revenue expectations are being pushed off again and revenue back-end loaded for 2011.

Indeed, with Baker-Hughes and Halliburton more or less flat in trading on Friday, it all raises the question: Can an earnings beat and a broadly positive tone keep oil service shares already near 52-week high levels moving higher, or will event-driven traders book profits, and there be a period of choppy performance before the money in these stocks again consolidates in the hands of long-term investors?

Darren Gacicia, energy analyst at Dahlman Rose, had the opinion coming into earnings that given the big run up in these stocks, unless the companies provided "whoppingly good guidance" it would be tough to drive the shares higher. He noted that it's especially difficult given the level of trading-oriented money involved in these oil service names.

"Everything is positive in terms of where things are headed, but when you watch the tape on Friday after Schlumberger to get a sense for what everybody thinks, and a tone saying that international growth is back-half loaded for 2011, it can serve to push out the next major catalyst," the Dahlman Rose analyst said. It also means that the short-term, event driven trade will tilt to the negative.

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