May 31, 2016 / 3:52 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Dow and S&P edge lower; health stocks prop up Nasdaq

* April consumer spending up 1 pct vs est. 0.7 pct rise

* Apple down 0.4 pct, Boeing and Disney down 1.3 pct

* Celator jumps over 70 pct after agreeing to be acquired

* Dow down 0.39 pct, S&P down 0.14 pct, Nasdaq up 0.16 pct (Adds details, changes comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

May 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street gave up early gains on Tuesday, but all three major index were on track to end higher for the month, as investors mulled over economic data for clues regarding the timing of the next interest rate hike.

Stronger-than-expected April consumer spending data on Tuesday bolstered Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s stance on Friday that a rate hike in the coming months would likely be appropriate given an improvement in the economy.

However, the reading on consumer confidence for May was lower than expected.

Investors now await the crucial U.S. jobs data at the end of this week. The Fed meets next on June 14-15.

“I think this is a classic wait-and-see the data kind of week,” said Philip Blancato, chief executive officer of Ladenburg Thalmann in New York.

“So if the data comes in as strong as I think, then you could be seeing a pretty significant pump to the expectations for the Fed to be able raise rates in June.”

At 11:35 a.m. ET (1535 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 69.73 points, or 0.39 percent, at 17,803.49, .

The S&P 500 was down 3.03 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,096.03. The index had risen about 1.6 percent in May through Friday’s close.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 8.03 points, or 0.16 percent, at 4,941.54, buoyed by healthcare stocks.

Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer staples index’s 0.55 percent drop leading the decliners.

Coca-Cola’s 0.8 percent drop was the biggest drag on the index.

Apple’s 0.4 percent fall to $99.94 was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Boeing’s fall of 1.3 percent pulled down the Dow.

Disney, another Dow component, was down 1.3 percent. The studio’s latest release, “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, received poor reviews.

Celator Pharma surged 71 percent to $29.99 after agreeing to be bought by Jazz Pharma for about $1.5 billion. Jazz Pharma was down 0.3 percent at $151.55.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,631 to 1,266. On the Nasdaq, 1,604 issues rose and 1,057 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 63 new highs and six new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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