* Oil prices fall after rising for eight straight weeks
* Apple biggest drag on S&P 500, Nasdaq
* Indexes: Dow down 0.4 pct, S&P down 0.3 pct, Nasdaq flat (Updates to mid-afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
May 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were down on Monday afternoon due to worries about Greece’s precarious financial condition and slowing growth in China, while energy stocks fell on weaker oil prices.
U.S. stocks, which rallied on Friday on a strong jobs report, have been trading at historically expensive valuations, fueled by ultra-low borrowing costs.
The S&P 500 is trading at 17 times expected earnings, compared with its historical 10-year median average of 15, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
April payroll data out last Friday indicated U.S. economic growth was picking up, but not enough to raise concerns about an earlier-than-expected interest-rate rise by the Federal Reserve.
“People are still concerned about whether we will have a liftoff in the fall or not. That’s the big driver,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc in San Antonio.
U.S. light crude fell on signs that U.S. shale oil production was recovering.
Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were down, led by the energy index, which fell 1.9 percent.
At 2:12 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 72.1 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,119.01, the S&P 500 lost 6.85 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,109.25.
The Nasdaq Composite added 0.04 points, or 0 percent, to 5,003.58.
Apple was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, with its shares down 0.9 percent. Smartphone shipments in China shrank for the first time in six years, according to market research firm IDC.
European markets largely closed down as euro zone finance ministers met to discuss a cash-for-reforms deal for Greece, even though the country said it made a payment of about 750 million euros ($836 million) to the IMF.
Asian shares closed higher on China’s third rate cut in six months but U.S. markets focused on slowing growth in the world’s largest-growing economy.
Rosetta Resources soared 27.45 percent after Noble Energy said it would buy the company for about $2 billion. Noble fell 5.9 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,844 to 1,203, for a 1.53-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,570 issues rose and 1,134 fell for a 1.38-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 20 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 61 new highs and 33 new lows. ($1 = 0.8969 euros) (Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Nick Zieminski) )