* GDP reading much better than expected
* Consumer confidence hits five-month low
* Apple briefly crosses $700 bln market cap
* Indexes up: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.17 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 hit a record high on Tuesday as the U.S. economy rose more than expected last quarter but soft readings on consumer confidence and house prices kept major indexes in a tight range near the unchanged level.
Third-quarter economic growth came in much stronger than expected but other data showing consumer confidence sliding to a five-month low and a further moderation in house price gains put a lid on the market’s initial advance.
The moves were not showing much conviction and volume was expected to be low as the Thanksgiving holiday approached. U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday, while Friday will be a half-day session on Wall Street.
“I do expect lower volumes and the market moving sideways,” said James Liu, global market strategist for J.P. Morgan Funds in Chicago.
He said a major market catalyst will be the Federal Reserve meeting in mid-December. The Fed could effectively commit to a more prompt interest rate rise if it adjusts the language in its policy statement.
At 2:25 p.m. EST (1925 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.46 points, or 0.14 percent, to 17,843.36, the S&P 500 gained 0.86 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,070.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.96 points, or 0.17 percent, to 4,762.85.
Markets are coming off a period of long-running strength. The S&P has risen in 12 of its last 14 sessions, and is up more than 13 percent from an intraday low in mid-October.
Energy shares were the weakest performers on the S&P 500, down 1.1 percent as U.S. crude oil fell 2 percent. The moves come ahead of a meeting of oil cartel OPEC on Thursday where a cut in production will likely be discussed.
Exxon Mobil fell 0.7 percent to $95.05 while Chevron was off 1 percent to $116.36.
Apple hit a high of $119.75, briefly crossing above a $700 billion market capitalization. The second-largest publicly traded U.S. company, Exxon, has a market cap of just above $400 billion. Apple was recently down 0.4 percent at $118.13.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was United Technologies, which rose 3.1 percent after an upgrade at Wells Fargo, while the largest decliner was Hormel Foods , down 4 percent after earnings.
Tiffany & Co rose 2.5 percent to $107.63 after same-store sales growth beat expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE 1,615 to 1,384, for a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,347 issues rose and 1,291 fell for a 1.04-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 was posting 73 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 116 new highs and 38 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos)