Stocks fell in choppy trade on Friday as financial shares retreated and a drop in big-cap technology shares derailed Wall Street's attempt to notch up a fourth straight day of gains.

The S&P financial index <.GSPF> shed 1.4 percent, while the KBW Bank index <.BKX> fell nearly 3 percent.

Analysts said stocks would struggle to make further headway without clarity out of Washington about how banks will be relieved of money-losing assets.

I really don't think you're going to see a true floor in this market until we get a comprehensive plan on the finance sector, said Peter Jankovskis, director of research at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by James Dalgleish)