Apple halts Wall St. rally, but S&P ekes out record high
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday as Apple-led losses in tech 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 1.2 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.
Indexes were also supported by President Donald Trump's efforts to push ahead with his plan to cut tax rates. House Speaker Paul Ryan said an outline will be unveiled during the work week beginning Sept. 25.
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 market's slowed the treadmill to a slight pace from the run it was on," 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."
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.
At 12:36 p.m. ET (1636 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 7.91 points, or 0.04 percent, at 22,126.77 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 0.82 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,495.66. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 3.11 points, or 0.05 percent, at 6,451.17.
A rise in oil prices after the International Energy Agency said a global surplus of crude was starting to shrink sent the S&P energy index <.SPNY> up 0.9 percent.
Target <TGT.N> rose 2.3 percent after the retailer said it would hire 100,000 workers for the holiday season, 43 percent more than last year.
McDonald's <MCD.N> gave the biggest boost to the Dow with a 0.9 percent rise, while Amazon's <AMZN.O> 0.7 percent rise led the Nasdaq higher.
Nordstrom <JWN.N> gained 6.3 percent, topping the consumer discretionary index <.SPLRCD> after Reuters reported the founding family had selected private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help take it private.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,480 to 1,288. On the Nasdaq, 1,551 issues rose and 1,247 fell.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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