US STOCKS-Wall St stabilizes after weak start to year

martes 5 de enero de 2016 16:25 GYT

* Apple biggest drag on S&P 500, Nasdaq after Nikkei report

* Gilead up after hep B drug found safe

* First Solar up after Goldman upgrades stock to buy

* Dow down 0.15 pct, S&P up 0.28 pct, Nasdaq down 0.26 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Jan 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were near flat in choppy trading late Tuesday afternoon, though the Standard & Poor's 500 edged higher, stabilizing after steep losses on the first trading day of the year.

A 2.2 percent drop in Apple Inc weighed on all three major indexes, while a fall in crude oil prices and a stronger dollar contributed to the year's shaky start.

In a bid to stabilize its markets, the People's Bank of China on Tuesday injected $20 billion into the financial system. Weak Chinese economic data drove stocks down on Monday.

Gilead Sciences Inc rose 1.7 percent to $99.64, helping to lift the S&P 500, after its experimental hepatitis B drug was found safer than, yet as effective, as its approved treatment Viread. Wal Mart Stores Inc shares, up 2.3 percent at $62.88, also were a boost, though strategists said choppiness could remain a key part of the year's trading.   Continuación...