December 6, 2016 / 6:07 PM / in 2 years

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as banks gain, utilities drag

* Nike top drag on Dow after Cowen downgrade

* Telecom services sector set for best day in two weeks

* Boeing slips after Trump tweets on 747 Air Force One

* Indexes up: Dow 0.06 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.06 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in choppy trading on Tuesday, as gains in bank and telecom stocks were offset by losses in utilities and materials.

The S&P 500 financial index rose 0.43 percent, led by a 1.2 percent rise in Wells Fargo. Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan said at an investor conference that the bank’s profits were likely to be hit in the short term by higher interest rates, but on longer term, the hike would be beneficial.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Berkshire Hathaway were also trading higher.

The telecom services index was on track for its best day in two weeks, helped by gains in AT&T and Verizon .

AT&T gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, rising 1.3 percent after CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that the new streaming television service DirectTV Now has so far exceeded expectations.

Verizon also gained 1.3 percent after striking a deal to sell 29 data centers to Equinix for $3.6 billion.

U.S. stocks have climbed since the Nov. 8 election, driven by expectations of significant economic stimulus and cuts in corporate taxes and regulations under President-elect Donald Trump.

However, the rally has split, with the Dow marking a series of record highs on gains in industrials and bank stocks, while sectors such as utilities and technology have held back the S&P and the Nasdaq.

“You’ve got a lot of overbought individual components, especially in a rising rate environment, so any bad news, including Trump tweeting on Boeing, is going to have a big impact on the market,” said Phil Davis, CEO of PSW Investments.

At 12:29 p.m. ET (1729 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11.34 points, or 0.06 percent, at 19,227.58.

The S&P 500 was up 3.52 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,208.23 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.36 points, or 0.06 percent, at 5,312.25.

Investors are now looking to the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week, where traders see a 92 percent chance of an interest rate hike.

Five of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by a 1.25 percent rise in the telecom services index.

Materials and utilities were the biggest drags, while four indexes, including technology and industrials, were flat.

Boeing’s shares edged down 0.7 percent to $151.08, after Trump tweeted that costs of the 747 Air Force One aircraft were “out of control” and that the order should be canceled.

Nike fell 2.8 percent to $50.38 after Cowen & Co downgraded the shoemaker to “market perform” and cut price target. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow.

Intralinks soared 16.4 percent to $13.12 after Synchronoss Technologies said it would buy the cloud-based business software provider for $821 million.

Shares of Synchronoss, which provided a disappointing fourth-quarter revenue forecast, fell 11.3 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,791 to 1,048. On the Nasdaq, 1,498 issues rose and 1,229 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 26 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 164 new highs and 17 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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