Apple halts Wall St. rally, but S&P ekes out record high
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in late morning trading on Wednesday as Apple-led losses in technology stocks were offset by gains in consumer discretionary and energy stocks, which helped the S&P 500 inch up to a record intra-day high.
Apple <AAPL.O> dropped 1.3 percent on concerns about the newly launched iPhone X's hefty price tag and its later-than-expected availability date of Nov. 3. The stock was the top drag on all the three major indexes.
Also helping the market was potential progress on tax reform as President Donald Trump prepared to host Democratic and Republican House lawmakers at the White House, seeking to build support on the agenda.
Wall Street is coming off a two-day rally that resulted in the three major indexes finishing at all-time highs on Tuesday and the S&P touching a record intra-day high.
The indexes have stayed near record levels this year despite periodic setbacks caused by turmoil in the White House, the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes, doubts about Trump's ability to push through his pro-business reforms, and lately, tensions over North Korea.
"The market's slowed the treadmill to a slight pace from the run it was on, nothing really negative," said Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado.
"The likely driver today is going to be a little bit of a late-day rally. But not very large."
At 11:02 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.22 points, flat on a percent basis, at 22,119.08 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 0.71 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,495.77.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 3.82 points, or 0.06 percent, at 6,450.46.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with a rise in oil prices helping the energy index <.SPNY> gain 0.6 percent.
Centene <CNC.N> rose about 6 percent after the health insurer said it would buy privately held Fidelis Care for $3.75 billion.
Western Digital <WDC.O> was the biggest S&P loser, down 5.3 percent after Toshiba <6502.T> said it would focus on selling its chips unit to a group led by Bain Capital and SK Hynix <000660.KS>.
Equifax <EFX.N> dropped 5 percent as investors brushed off the company's chief executive apology for a breach that may have compromised personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers and a reassurance to "make changes" to avoid further hacks.
Nordstrom <JWN.N> gained 6.3 percent after Reuters reported the Nordstrom family had selected private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help take the high-end retailer private.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,420 to 1,269. On the Nasdaq, 1,474 issues rose and 1,214 fell.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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