US STOCKS-Wall St pares earlier gains, weighed by Apple
* Factory orders increase in July, Beige Book on tap
* Automakers post strong August sales
* Dow up 0.23 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq off 0.47 pct (Updates to midday)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The key Nasdaq index fell on Wednesday as a drop in Apple shares pulled down the technology sector, while earlier gains in the broader S&P 500 dissipated amid uncertainty over ceasefire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.
Apple shares were down 4.1 percent at $99.02, falling below the $100 mark for the first time since August and on track for its worst percentage decline since Jan. 28 as it grappled with a possible security breach into its iCloud service a week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone.
The decline dragged down the Nasdaq and weighed on the technology sector which lost 0.6 percent as the worst performing of the 10 major S&P groups.
The benchmark S&P index reached a record intraday high of 2,009.28, while the Dow moved within two points of a new record after comments from Ukraine and Russia's Vladimir Putin indicated a political solution to the conflict between the two countries could be on the horizon.
"The market actually responded well to the strong gains that Europe had on the news of the ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia but there is a lot there that is left to be to be desired," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. Continuación...