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REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St dips, S&P off peak, on lackluster data
May 15, 2015 / 6:42 PM / 2 years ago

REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St dips, S&P off peak, on lackluster data

(Updates bylines)

* Industrial output falls for fifth straight month

* Consumer sentiment at its lowest since October

* Yum Brands up after J.P. Morgan upgrade

* Netflix jumps after report of China entry

* Indexes down: Dow 0.09 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.23 pct

By Tanya Agrawal and Noel Randewich

May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. shares dipped on Friday and the S&P 500 eased off a recent record high as a ream of weak data stirred concerns about the economy's health.

The S&P jumped 1.08 percent to a record close a day earlier, modestly exceeding its previous peak on April 24, fueling speculation the benchmark index may trend higher after having oscillated in a range for much of the past three months.

However, weak industrial output and consumer sentiment reports Friday did little to instill confidence in investors about the economy's growth momentum.

"With the markets treading, it's really reflecting what's happening in the general economy," said Warren West, principal at Greentree Brokerage Services in Philadelphia. "The rest of the economy's not breaking out, so how can the market?"

At 2:01 p.m. (1801 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average fell 15.95 points, or 0.09 percent, to 18,236.29, the S&P 500 lost 2.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,119.06 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.79 points, or 0.23 percent, to 5,039.01.

Four of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors fell, with the financial index down 0.69 percent.

Microsoft, which dropped 1.31 percent, was the biggest contributor to the S&P 500's decline.

Still, the three major indexes were on track to close up for the week for the first time in three weeks.

Industrial output slipped 0.3 percent, weighed by a decline in production by mining companies and utilities. Economists had forecast a rise of 0.1 percent.

U.S. consumer sentiment also fell more than expected in May and was at its lowest since October.

Adding to the negative tone, economists cut their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the second quarter and the full year, and trimmed expectations for U.S. labor market gains.

Netflix rose 4.86 percent to $615.07 after Bloomberg reported it was in talks to enter China. The stock has rocketed 80 percent this year so far.

Yum Brands rose 3.3 percent after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to "overweight" and said the likelihood was increasing that the KFC owner might spin off its China business.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,592 to 1,402, for a 1.14-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,542 issues fell and 1,162 advanced for a 1.33-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 36 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 79 new highs and 29 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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