* HP drops after results, outlook
* New home sales fall less than expected
* Indexes: Dow up 0.04 pct, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged lower in afternoon trading on Wednesday, led by losses in Apple shares, but gains consumer discretionary shares limited the decline.
Energy shares also climbed along with oil prices. The S&P energy index was up 0.3 percent.
The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index, up 0.8 percent, gave the benchmark index its biggest support. Shares of TJX were up 3.5 percent at $69.51 after results, while Target rose 0.3 percent to $77.17 after a stronger-than-expected jump in same-store sales and profits for the fourth quarter.
Apple shares were down 2.4 percent at $128.03 but are still up almost 10 percent this month.
Single-family home sales in January fell less than expected and supply rose to its highest level since 2010.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to a House of Representatives committee provided few clues for investors on the timing of an interest rate hike.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6.64 points, or 0.04 percent, to 18,215.83, the S&P 500 lost 2.34 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,113.14 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.67 points, or 0.07 percent, to 4,964.46.
Hewlett-Packard shares tumbled 9.7 percent to $34.76 as the worst performer on the S&P 500 after the world’s No. 2 PC maker reported flat or lower quarterly revenue in all of its operating units and forecast full-year earnings well below analysts’ expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,734 to 1,266, for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,492 issues rose and 1,191 fell for a 1.25-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 was posting 59 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 112 new highs and 18 new lows. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)