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* U.S. consumer spending up 0.1 pct in Feb
* Pandora sinks after music streamer replaces CEO
* Indexes mixed: Dow +0.12, S&P +0.10 pct, Nasdaq -0.06 pct
By Noel Randewich
March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday as weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data reduced concerns about potential interest rate hikes and a dip in oil prices pushed down energy shares.
U.S. consumer spending barely rose in February and inflation retreated, suggesting the Federal Reserve could remain cautious about raising interest rates this year even as the labor market rapidly tightens.
Investors will pay close attention to Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech in New York on Tuesday for clues about when the central bank might raise interest rates.
The S&P has mostly recovered from a 10-percent loss at the start of 2016 but many investors remain wary of potential interest rate hikes, the impact of volatile oil prices and a slow global economy.
“I don’t think we’re out of the woods,” said Frank Gretz, a technical analyst at Wellington Shields & Co, a brokerage in New York. “I’ve noticed some loss of momentum in the last week.”
The S&P consumer discretionary and consumer staples sectors rose 0.61 percent and 0.52 percent respectively. The energy sector lost 0.69 percent.
Crude prices were lower, with U.S. crude below $40 a barrel.
At 2:43 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.12 percent at 17,536.79 points and the S&P 500 had gained 0.1 percent to 2,037.96.
The Nasdaq Composite edge down 0.06 percent to 4,770.53.
Noble Energy’s shares dropped 8.9 percent after the company warned of a possible delay in the development of a key natural gas field in Israel.
Pandora fell 11.34 percent after the music streaming company said its founder Tim Westergren was coming back as chief executive.
Cal-Maine Foods jumped 8.6 percent after reporting higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,759 to 1,246. On the Nasdaq, 1,401 issues rose and 1,363 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and 36 new lows. (Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)