June 21, 2017 / 3:42 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Nasdaq boosted by biotechs; banks weigh on Dow, S&P

* Healthcare top gainer among S&P sectors

* Adobe rises on strong forecast

* Dow down 0.06 pct, S&P up 0.09 pct, Nasdaq up 0.59 pct (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

June 21 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq Composite index was higher in late morning trading on Wednesday, boosted by biotechnology stocks, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were dragged lower by financial stocks.

Oil prices pared brief gains to trade lower, hovering near seven-month lows, putting pressure on the market.

The commodity has fallen 20 percent this year as a global glut continues to weigh despite efforts by major producers to reduce output. Oil prices are on track for their biggest slide in the first half of any year since 1997.

The downturn has hemorrhaged the S&P energy index, making it the worst performing sector among the 11 major indexes this year. The index fell more than 13 percent during the period, while the S&P 500 rallied 8.85 percent.

“I think there is a bifurcation between short and long term. Clearly, to this point the Goldilocks scenario and earnings have pushed stock prices higher but oil has perhaps tempered some sentiment near-term,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“If oil falls below $40, one would see pressure on overall earnings, not just the energy sector.”

Investors are also mindful of the impact of inflation on the pace of future interest rate hikes, with a tug-of-war between inflation and the future of financial stability playing out among the Federal Reserve’s policymakers.

Dallas and Chicago Fed chiefs Robert Kaplan and Charles Evans expressed concerns regarding weak inflation, which remains stubbornly below the central bank’s 2 percent target.

However, Boston Fed head Eric Rosengren said that the era of low interest rates in the United States poses financial stability risks.

At 10:58 a.m. ET (1458 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.93 points, or 0.06 percent, at 21,454.21, the S&P 500 was up 2.24 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,439.27.

The Nasdaq Composite index was up 36.79 points, or 0.59 percent, at 6,224.82. Biotechs were the biggest gainers on the index with Celgene, Regeneron and Amgen trading up between 2 percent and 5 percent.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy index’s 0.97 percent fall leading the decliners.

The financial sector fell 0.8 percent as U.S. Treasury yield curve held near 10-year lows. Goldman Sachs was off 0.4 percent and Bank of America fell 1 percent, weighing on the Dow and the S&P.

Caterpillar’s 1.9 percent fall and General Electric’s 1.1 percent fall dragged on industrials.

Adobe Systems was up 3.4 percent at $145.71 after the software forecast current-quarter above analysts’ estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,479 to 1,221. On the Nasdaq, 1,645 issues rose and 965 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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