* Yellen to speak in New York at 12:20 p.m. ET
* Chipotle down after rating downgrade
* Dow down 0.25 pct, S&P down 0.19 pct, Nasdaq up 0.11 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 29 (Reuters) - A decline in oil prices kept the S&P 500 and the Dow slightly in the red on Tuesday, ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on monetary policy.
Yellen, who is due to speak before the Economic Club of New York at 12:20 p.m. ET (1620 GMT), will make her first remarks since the Fed’s meeting in March.
The central bank has said it will depend on economic data before it makes a decision on rates, but several policymakers have voiced support for more than one increase this year.
Investors will keep a close eye on Yellen’s speech as they look for fresh drivers that could push stocks higher.
“The market is essentially expecting her comments to remain somewhat dovish, just like at her last press conference (in March),” said Tim Dreiling, regional investment director at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in Kansas City.
The S&P 500 is back in the red for the year after a five-week rally lost momentum as investors fretted about the state of the U.S. economy amid global economic turmoil.
The index has traded in a narrow range, not moving more than 1 percent in either direction in more than two weeks.
Crude oil fell more than 3 percent, raising concerns that a two-month rally may be in danger of fizzling out.
At 10:44 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 43.59 points, or 0.25 percent, at 17,491.8, the S&P 500 was down 3.94 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,033.11.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.43 points, or 0.11 percent, at 4,772.22, lifted by a rise in tech stocks.
Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.6 percent fall in the energy sector. Exxon’s near 1 percent decline was the biggest drag on the index, while Chevron was down 1.2 percent at $93.53.
Data on Tuesday showed the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 96.2 in March, higher than the 94 expected.
Among other Fed officials speaking on Tuesday is New York Fed President William Dudley.
Shares of Lennar were up 1.5 percent at $47.38 after the homebuilder reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.
EBay was down 2.3 percent at $23.57 and LinkedIn fell 1.3 percent to $107.75 after Barclays cut its ratings on the stocks.
Chipotle was down 3.5 percent at $458.63 after Wedbush downgraded the stock to “underperform”.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,467 to 1,363. On the Nasdaq, 1,311 issues fell and 1,240 rose.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 22 new highs and 30 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)