March 17, 2017 / 4:52 PM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as tech gains offset weakness in banks

* Banks among top drags on S&P

* Financial sector set for worst day in two weeks

* Adobe up on strong quarterly earnings

* Dow flat, S&P up 0.01 pct, Nasdaq up 0.04 pct (Adds details, updates prices)

By Anya George Tharakan

March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday as bank shares fell on lingering effects of the Federal Reserve's less aggressive stance on future rate hikes, while a jump in Adobe lifted the technology sector.

The S&P 500 financial sector was off 0.82 percent, led by losses in big banks including Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

The index has outperformed in a post-election rally on bets of simpler regulations and on heightened expectations of higher interest rates.

The rally lost some steam after the Fed on Wednesday stuck to its outlook for a gradual tightening in policy following a widely expected quarter point rate hike.

"We got the rate increase that the market was looking for, albeit some of the future expectations were a little bit more muted then investors had been bracing for," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

However, the S&P 500 is on track to score gains for the week, helped by the technology sector.

The S&P tech index was supported on Friday by Adobe's surge to a record high of $130.30 after the Photoshop software maker reported strong earnings.

At 12:33 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.74 points, at 20,933.81 and the S&P 500 was up 0.17 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,381.55.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 2.44 points, or 0.04 percent, at 5,903.20.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors marked slight gains, topped by a 0.54 percent rise in utilities.

Amgen dropped 6.7 percent, weighing down the healthcare sector after analysts were unimpressed by results of a study on its cholesterol drug.

Amgen was also the biggest drag on the broader S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq.

Tiffany's shares rose 2.8 percent to $92.48, after the high-end jeweler's fourth-quarter profit topped estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,696 to 1,181. On the Nasdaq, 1,437 issues rose and 1,315 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed fifty one 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 110 highs and 38 lows. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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