August 30, 2016 / 3:42 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St falls as Apple drags down tech stocks

* Apple biggest drag on all three indexes

* Hershey plunges after Mondelez ends pursuit

* Nonfarm payrolls data due Friday

* Indexes down: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.23 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower in late morning trading on Tuesday as Apple dragged down technology stocks after EU antitrust regulators ordered the company to pay about $14.5 billion in back taxes to the Irish government.

The S&P 500 technology index fell 0.37 percent, the biggest decline in nearly a week, hurt by a 0.9 percent drop in Apple.

The stock was the biggest drag on the three major U.S. stock indexes.

Oil prices dropped more than 1.7 percent as the dollar index jumped 0.42 percent after a report showed that the consumer confidence index rose to 101.1, handily beating expectations of 97.

However, the markets are still focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve and its path to interest rates after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that the case for a rate hike was strengthening.

“Equities are likely to turn sideways as investors enter a wait-and-see mode until greater evidence of economic growth comes forth,” said Terry Sandven, chief equities strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, said the U.S. job market is close to full strength and the pace of interest rate hikes will depend on how well the economy is doing.

Investors are awaiting a report on monthly payrolls data due on Friday to assess whether it would support the hawkish tone that Fed officials have taken.

At 11:09 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 55.61 points, or 0.3 percent, at 18,447.38.

The S&P 500 was down 5.22 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,175.16.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 12.16 points, or 0.23 percent, at 5,220.17.

Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, with the utilities falling the most by 0.69 percent.

Hershey dropped 10.6 percent to $99.92 after Mondelez said on Monday it was no longer pursuing an acquisition.

Mondelez rose 4.2 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq.

Abercrombie & Fitch plunged 20 percent after the apparel retailer said it no longer expects comparable sales to improve this year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,414 to 1,410. On the Nasdaq, 1,481 issues rose and 1,151 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 25 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 10 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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