7 de septiembre de 2016 / 19:45 / hace un año

US STOCKS-Wall St near flat as investors assess rate outlook

* Nasdaq touches record intraday high

* Whole Foods, Sprouts shares fall

* Indexes: Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P down 0.04 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Sept 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors assessed the outlook for U.S. interest rates, while Sprout Farmers Market’s forecast weighed on grocers.

Whole Foods fell 5.5 percent after smaller rival Sprouts Farmers Market painted a bleak picture for grocers with its disappointing quarterly outlook. Sprouts shares were down 13.7 percent, while Kroger shares fell 3.7 percent.

Investors have been weighing the likelihood of a rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month, with recent data suggesting the Fed could hold off for now.

The Fed said in its Beige Book report of anecdotal information collected that the U.S. economy expanded at a modest pace in July and August, but there was little sign that wage pressures are being felt beyond highly skilled jobs.

Data is “sending the lower-for-longer interest rates message out there,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15.79 points, or 0.09 percent, to 18,522.33, the S&P 500 lost 0.8 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,185.68, while the Nasdaq Composite added 3.61 points, or 0.07 percent, to 5,279.51. U.S. stocks have been trading in a tight range in the past few months, with the S&P 500 not moving more than 1 percent in either direction on a daily basis since July 8.

Apple shares were up 0.7 percent at $108.38, after the biggest company by market value launched the new iPhone.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill gained 5.8 percent after William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the chain.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.58-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 138 new highs and 17 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva and Nick Zieminski)

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