US STOCKS-Wall Street pauses after two-day run higher
* U.S. durable goods orders surge, business spending weak
* Fed's Powell eyes rate hike 'fairly soon'
* Abercrombie slumps after sales fall for 13th straight quarter
* Indexes: Dow off 0.13 pct, S&P down 0.02 pct, Nasdaq up 0.14 pct (Updates to close)
By Noel Randewich
May 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street treaded water on Thursday following two days of strong gains as advancing defensive sectors offset declines in materials, banks and other cyclical industries.
Investors this week have grown more comfortable with expectations the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as June, with many taking the view that such a hike would reflect improvement in the country's economy.
After gaining 2 percent over the previous two sessions, the S&P 500 traded near flat, with a 1.1 percent dip in the materials index partly offset by a 1.1 percent rise in utilities.
"People are taking their foot off the gas after making a bunch of money, and now they're waiting for the next data point," said Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New York. Continuación...