* U.S. small business confidence in May hits 5-month high
* April job openings surge to record high
* Lululemon up after raising full-year forecast
* Apple falls for fourth session, weighs on Nasdaq and S&P
* Indexes: Dow up 0.11 pct, S&P up 0.12 pct, Nasdaq down 0.25 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in early afternoon trading on Tuesday following three straight days of decline, as another batch of strong economic data gave weight to views that the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates in September.
Growing expectations that the Fed could raise interest rates sooner rather than later pushed the blue-chip Dow index into negative territory for 2015 on Monday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes touched their lowest in over a month.
The selloff in U.S. stocks in the past few sessions followed a series of upbeat economic reports, including stronger-than-expected May jobs data on Friday.
Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. job openings surged to a record high in April and small business confidence increased in May - signs that the economy was regaining momentum after stumbling at the start of the year.
“What we’ve seen is a confirmation that the stock and bond market is dependent on easy monetary policy,” said James Abate, chief investment officer of Centre Funds in New York.
“The market continues to muddle and is very susceptible to a correction in the case of a shock incident.”
The selloff in U.S. markets spread to the global market, with European shares slipping to a 3-1/2-month low on Tuesday.
Concerns about Greece continued to weigh, with Athens handing its creditors new proposals to unlock funds as time runs out to reach a deal to prevent the country from going bankrupt.
At 12:38 a.m. ET (1638 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 19.18 points, or 0.11 percent, at 17,785.73 while the S&P 500 was up 2.55 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,081.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 12.66 points, or 0.25 percent, at 5,008.97.
Six of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the consumer staples index’s 0.7 percent rise leading the gains.
Apple fell 0.6 percent to $126.94, down for the fourth straight session, and was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, a day after the launch of its streaming music service, Apple Music.
Analysts said the new service was unlikely to move the needle on the company’s revenue or earnings per share.
Lululemon rose 9.7 percent to $67.50 after the Canadian yogawear retailer raised its full-year revenue and earnings forecast.
Sage Therapeutics jumped 16 percent to $87.20 after its experimental injectable drug was found to be effective in treating postpartum depression.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,768 to 1,213. On the Nasdaq, 1,579 issues fell and 1,061 advanced.
Eight stocks on the S&P 500 index hit a 52-week high and nine a 52-week low. The Nasdaq recorded 75 highs and 32 lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Ted Kerr)