US STOCKS-Wall Street lower as consumer stocks slip
* April consumer spending up; May consumer confidence slips
* Apple weighs on S&P; Boeing, Disney drag on Dow
* Celator jumps over 70 pct after agreeing to be acquired
* Dow down 0.5 pct, S&P down 0.21 pct, Nasdaq up 0.09 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower in early afternoon trading on Tuesday following a drop in consumer stocks, but the three major indexes were on track to end higher for May, as investors mulled over economic data for clues regarding the timing of a rate hike.
Stronger-than-expected April consumer spending data on Tuesday bolstered Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's stance on Friday that a rate hike in the coming months would likely be appropriate given an improvement in the economy.
However, the impact of the strong spending data was somewhat muted after a Conference Board report showed that the consumer confidence index slipped to 92.6 this month from 94.7 in April.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer staples index's 0.57 percent drop leading the decliners. Continuación...