June 15, 2017 / 3:37 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St lower as tech slide resumes

* Apple, Microsoft, Facebook drive Nasdaq, S&P lower

* VIX, defensive S&P sectors gain

* Indexes down: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.56 pct, Nasdaq 1.04 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

June 15 (Reuters) - Technology shares were under pressure yet again on Thursday, pulling lower all the three major Wall Street indexes, as investors fretted about bloated valuations.

The technology sector has risen 16.7 percent this year, far outperforming other sectors and giving investors a chance to lock-in gains.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has also surged 13.7 percent, compared with the S&P 500’s 8.2 percent gain for the year.

However, fortunes turned last Friday after a drop in Apple’s shares triggered a selloff and led to the tech sector’s biggest two-day decline in nearly a year.

“The huge tech run was impressive and has come to a point where people want to take some money off the table and preserve profits,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn capital in Benardsville, New Jersey.

Investors are also concerned about the U.S. economy’s ability to withstand a third interest rate hike later this year and the Federal Reserve’s plans to trim its balance sheet, especially after a recent set of lackluster economic data.

A Washington Post report that President Donald Trump was being investigated for possible obstruction of justice added to the jitters.

Bakhos said the report was “adding a little angst to the market and moved investors to choose a risk-off path.”

The CBOE Volatility index, or Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, hit 11.61 points - its biggest percentage gain in nearly one month.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.

The gainers were utilities, real estate and telecom services, whose slow but steady growth makes them attractive during periods of uncertainty.

At 11:03 a.m. ET (1503 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 59.58 points, or 0.28 percent, at 21,314.98, the S&P 500 was down 13.7 points, or 0.56 percent, at 2,424.22 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 64.29 points, or 1.04 percent, at 6,130.60.

Among stocks, Kroger was down 12.5 percent after the supermarket chain operator cut its full-year profit forecast.

Mattel was down 7.2 percent at $20.63 after the toymaker cut its dividend.

One bright spot was a Labor Department report that showed fewer-than-expected Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,063 to 730. On the Nasdaq, 1,906 issues fell and 770 advanced. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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