US STOCKS-S&P, Dow pare losses as bank, consumer stocks rise

* Alphabet falls after record EU antitrust fine

* Yellen to participate in a discussion at 1 p.m. ET

* Consumer confidence rises more-than-expected in June

* Dow up 0.10 pct, S&P up 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.25 pct
(Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

June 27 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial
Average pared early losses in late morning trading on Tuesday as
bank and consumer stocks rose on robust consumer confidence
data, while the Nasdaq Composite was dragged lower by a fall in
technology shares.

Data showed consumer confidence for June rose
more-than-expected, which could bolster the Federal Reserve’s
case for another rate hike this year.

However, a steep fall in oil prices and a flattening yield
curve have added to concerns over inflation, which remains below
the Fed’s 2 percent target.

“The consumer remains confident and given that consumers
drive two-thirds of the economy, that to me says, perhaps the
news of a slowdown may be oversold,” said Brad McMillan, Chief
Investment Officer for Commonwealth Financial.

The financial index rose 0.89 percent, leading the
gainers among the major S&P sectors, as investors expect the
central bank to look through a slowdown in inflation and
continue on their current path for rate hikes.

Bank of America was up 1.4 percent and JPMorgan
rose 0.8 percent, providing the biggest boost to the
S&P.

The consumer discretionary index sector inched up
0.12 percent, with Home Depot boosting the Dow.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to take part in a
discussion on global economic issues in London at 1 p.m. ET
(1700 GMT). Investors expect Yellen to offer more insight into
the state of the U.S. economy.

“I think at this point the Fed is more or less committed to
raising rates as they’re more worried about being behind the
curve and reloading the gun in case of a recession,” added
McMillan.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Tuesday
the Fed rightly plans to raise rates once more this year, given
recent inflation weakness is likely temporary.

At 11:03 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 21.18 points, or 0.1 percent, at 21,430.73, the S&P 500
was up 0.36 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,439.43.

The Nasdaq Composite index was down 15.49 points, or
0.25 percent, at 6,231.66.

The technology index fell 0.39 percent due to a
drop in the shares of Apple, Microsoft and
Alphabet.

Alphabet fell 1 percent to $962.64 after EU antitrust
regulators hit the tech giant with a record $2.7 billion fine.

Since the beginning of the year, the tech index has jumped
about 19 percent, making it the biggest force behind the S&P’s
record-setting rally.

However, the sector has come under pressure of late over
concerns about lofty valuations.

Sprint rose 5.6 percent after the fourth-largest U.S.
wireless service provider was said to be in talks with Charter
Communications and Comcast about a wireless
partnership. Comcast and Charter were down about 0.35 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,563
to 1,178. On the Nasdaq, 1,351 issues rose and 1,318 fell.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun
Koyyur)


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