* Bernstein downgrade hits Disney, media stocks tumble
* Report of declining smartphone sales in China hits Apple
* Indexes down: Dow 1.5 pct, S&P 1.5 pct, Nasdaq 2.2 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
Aug 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 hit a five month low on Thursday on concern a deceleration in the Chinese economy would translate into slower global growth.
Consumer stocks led the decline on Wall Street with Disney down nearly 6 percent after a brokerage downgrade, while Apple slumped near 2 percent after a report that overall smartphone sales in China fell in the second quarter for the first time.
“The largest issue is certainly the fact that we don’t know how much the Chinese economy is slowing,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
“That’s manifesting itself in lower oil prices,” he said, pointing to the correlation between stocks and crude futures.
U.S. crude edged higher after earlier hitting its lowest since March 2009, while Brent dropped 1.5 percent to hit its lowest since January.
The 14-day correlation between the S&P 500 and Brent prices is at a five-month high.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 263.07 points, or 1.52 percent, to 17,085.66, the S&P 500 lost 32.13 points, or 1.54 percent, to 2,047.48 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 110.77 points, or 2.21 percent, to 4,908.28.
The S&P 500 traded below its 200-day moving average for the full session, something not seen since last October. Wunderlich’s Hogan said the selloff had the characteristics of the S&P’s October decline, when the benchmark fell nearly 10 percent on an intraday basis.
At its session low on Thursday, the S&P 500 was down 4.3 percent from its record intraday high set in late May.
Disney slumped 5.4 percent to $100.69 and Time Warner fell 4.4 percent to $74.43, leading a rout in media stocks after a Bernstein downgrade.
Apple fell 1.7 percent to $113.06 after a Gartner report said China smartphone sales fell for the first time ever on a quarterly base in the second quarter. Apple counts China as a key growth market.
One bright spot in tech stocks was NetApp, up 3.9 percent to $30.93 after the data storage equipment maker’s results beat expectations.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,494 to 549, for a 4.54-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,292 issues fell and 530 advanced for a 4.32-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 4 new 52-week highs and 38 new lows; the Nasdaq was recording 16 new highs and 192 new lows.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski