* Housing stocks tumble after KB Home cuts revenue forecast
* Walmart gives up early gains after strong Q3 sales
* Apple holds up after 5 days of losses
* PG&E Corp plunges again, hits over 15-yr low
* Indexes: Dow down 0.17 pct, S&P up 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.48 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Sruthi Shankar
Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks struggled on Thursday as an attempt by technology companies to rebound from this week’s sharp losses was outweighed by a batch of weak results and Brexit-related concerns.
Department store operators J.C. Penney Co Inc and Dillard’s Inc reported disappointing third-quarter results, casting a gloom on the retail sector, despite strong results from the world’s largest retailer Walmart Inc.
J.C. Penney shares edged 0.4 percent higher as Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau gave indications of her plans to turn a profit. Dillard’s fell 14.5 percent.
The results pulled down the broader group, sending the S&P 500 retailing index 1.6 percent lower, despite economic data that showed U.S. retail sales rebounded sharply in October. Walmart was down 2 percent.
Political events in Europe also scared investors after a series of resignations in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government threw into doubt her long-awaited Brexit deal and reports of anti-euro comments from an Italian official.
“There’s news around Brexit and traders are reassessing the notion that we could have a no-deal Brexit,” said Matt Forester, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon’s Lockwood Advisors in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
“Overall earnings highlight concerns that we’ve seen the best earnings growth in this cycle and we’re concerned about the future.”
U.S. stocks got off to a shaky start this month after a sharp selloff in October as investors weigh the prospects of rising interest rates, slowing global economy and heightening trade tensions.
At 1:18 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 42.11 points, or 0.17 percent, at 25,038.39, the S&P 500 was up 1.73 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,703.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 34.14 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,170.54.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.5 percent decline in the consumer discretionary index as Amazon.com Inc fell 1.3 percent.
KB Home slumped 19.1 percent after the company cut fourth-quarter revenue forecast. Shares of other homebuilders including PulteGroup Inc, Toll Brothers Inc and Lennar Corp also fell.
Apple Inc jumped 1.6 percent after five days of losses, helping the S&P technology index gain 1.2 percent.
Facebook Inc dropped 0.8 percent after the New York Times reported on how its executives ignored and then sought to conceal signs that the social media giant could be exploited to disrupt elections and broadcast viral propaganda.
Shares in utility PG&E Corp continued its decline for a sixth day, hitting a 15-year low at $19.12, after warning that it could face “significant liability” in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment caused the northern California blaze.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and 19 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 134 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)