* Explosions in Brussels kill 34 people
* Airline stocks hit hardest
* Gold jumps about 1 pct
* Apple biggest boost to the three indexes
* Dow down 0.14 pct, S&P down 0.04 pct, Nasdaq up 0.13 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar and Tanya Agrawal
March 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in late-morning trading on Tuesday as the ripples of the deadly explosions in Brussels were limited by a 1 percent rise in Apple and gains in healthcare stocks.
Apple was the biggest boost on the three indexes.
At least 34 people were killed in twin attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital, triggering security alerts across western Europe.
European markets fell, while traditional safe havens gold and government bonds firmed up as reports of the events in the de facto capital of the European Union unfolded. Airline and travel-related stocks were the worst hit.
Shares of American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines were down between 2.5 percent and 0.5 percent. The broader NYSE Arca Airline index was down 1.8 percent.
Gold rose about 1 percent to $1,253 an ounce, while oil prices were slightly higher after falling earlier in the day.
“Anytime we have events like that, it tends to rattle investors because of the uncertainty of what it all means,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“It creates a cause for a pause until investors get more information,” he said.
The CBOE Volatility index, the most common gauge of fear and uncertainty on Wall Street, was up 4.8 percent at 14.45, still below the index’s long-term average of 20.
Markets have reacted negatively to terrorist attacks such as the one in Paris last November, before quickly recovering.
The effect from terrorist activity fades within 10 days after the incident, according to research by PNC Investment.
At 10:54 a.m. ET (1454 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 24.08 points, or 0.14 percent, at 17,599.79, the S&P 500 was down 0.79 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,050.81 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 6.10 points, or 0.13 percent, at 4,814.98.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the health index’s 0.35 percent rise leading the advancers. Amgen’s 2.1 percent rise was the biggest boost to the index.
Cruise operator Carnival Corp’s shares were down 3.1 percent at $48.25, while travel-website operator Expedia was off 1.9 percent at $108.79.
The Dow Jones U.S. Travel & Leisure index was down 1.3 percent.
For financial markets, the events in Brussels come at a time when liquidity is starting to dry up ahead of the Easter holiday and investors are planning to cash in on a steep rally in stocks over the last few weeks.
The S&P 500 has risen about 8 percent in the past five weeks and is about 4 percent away from its all-time high.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,533 to 1,279. On the Nasdaq, 1,371 issues fell and 1,160 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 17 new highs and 11 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru,; Editing by Don Sebastian)