* Alphabet, Amazon, Netflix at record highs
* Private sector adds most jobs since June
* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P down 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct (Updates to after Yellen comments)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
Dec 2 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow stayed modestly lower Wednesday afternoon following comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that she was “looking forward” to a U.S. interest rate hike.
Record highs in Alphabet, Amazon and Netflix helped to boost the Nasdaq, which added slightly to its gain after Yellen’s comments.
Yellen, in prepared remarks, said she was looking forward to a rate hike that will be seen as a testament to the economy’s recovery from recession. She did not indicate if she still expected an increase would be warranted at the Fed’s last policy meeting this year next week.
“Pretty much as expected ... I think the Fed has given investors a lot of time and a lot of direction that they plan to do this. If it is coming as a surprise to you now, you just haven’t been following this,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
At 12:48 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 29.09 points, or 0.16 percent, to 17,859.26, the S&P 500 lost 5.78 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,096.85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.75 points, or 0.21 percent, to 5,167.05.
Yellen also is due to testify on the economic outlook before a joint committee of Congress on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, data showed U.S. private employers added the most number of jobs since June.
Shares of Amazon touched a record high of $684.82, while those of Netflix rose as much as 4.8 percent to $131.35. Alphabet rose as much as 1.2 percent to $793.04. (Additional reporting by Sweta Singh and Charles Mikolajczak; Editing by Don Sebastian and Nick Zieminski)