Energy balance and reciprocity relations are studied for harmonic inhomogeneous plane waves that are incident upon a stack of continuous absorbing dielectric media that are macroscopically characterized by their electric and magnetic permittivities and their conductivities. New cross terms between parallel electric and parallel magnetic modes are identified in the fully generalized Poynting vector. The symmetry and the relations between the general Fresnel coefficients are investigated in the context of energy balance at the interface. The contributions of the so-called mixed Poynting vector are discussed in detail. In particular a new transfer matrix is introduced for energy fluxes in thin-film optics based on the Poynting and mixed Poynting vectors. Finally, the study of reciprocity relations leads to a generalization of a theorem of reversibility for conducting and dielectric media.