August 9, 2016 / 6:32 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street catches its breath after recent rally

* Endo International jumps after profit beat

* Valeant rises on news of business reorganization

* Indexes: Dow and S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.25 pct (Updates to afternoon)

By Noel Randewich

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street hovered near record highs on Tuesday as weak oil prices offset gains in healthcare and technology stocks.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged up to all-time highs before a decline in oil dulled the gains.

A rally since late June has left the S&P 500 up nearly 7 percent in 2016, with many investors weighing stretched valuations against expectations for continued low interest rates.

“We’re probably going to consolidate and then head higher,” said John Canally, chief economic strategist for LPL Financial. “The odds of a U.S. recession are low. The odds of a global recession are low. Central banks are cooperating.”

The S&P 500 index’s healthcare index rose 0.26 percent, helped by a 21 percent jump in Endo International after the company’s quarterly profit beat estimates.

The CBOE volatility index, known as Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge,’ briefly fell to a one-year low of 11.02.

At 2:16 pm ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.03 percent at 18,522.92 points and the S&P 500 was flat at 2,180.87.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.25 percent to 5,225.98.

Six of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, led by a 0.65 percent decrease in the energy index.

Investors mostly shrugged off a report that U.S. productivity unexpectedly fell in the second quarter, which could affect companies’ ability to maintain recent robust hiring.

Canally said that risks weighing against more stock gains include volatility caused by candidates’ campaigns ahead of the November U.S. presidential election as well as potential changes in expectations about the timing of future interest rate hikes.

Valeant jumped 22 percent after maintaining its full-year forecast and saying it would reorganize its business.

Microchip Tech rose 6.9 percent after the company’s first-quarter revenue beat analysts’ estimate.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 98 new highs and 22 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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