* Nielsen jumps after activist investor pushes for sale
* Tech stocks gain the most among S&P sectors
* Apple and Amazon hit record highs
* Indexes: Dow down 0.17 pct, S&P up 0.03, Nasdaq up 0.20 pct
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 reut.rs/2vFv6Ue (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)
By Amy Caren Daniel
Aug 13 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index treaded water on Monday as high-flying companies such as Apple and Amazon hit record highs, offsetting declines in shares of U.S. lenders due to a plunge in Turkish lira.
The technology sector rose 0.43 percent and was the top gainer among the major S&P sectors.
Apple’s shares jumped as much as 1.6 percent to hit a record high of $210.95 and Amazon.com rose as much as 2.1 percent to an all-time high of $1,925.00, while Google-parent Alphabet gained 0.2 percent.
“We have returned to a market based on fundamentals,” said Ed Cofrancesco, president and chief executive officer at International Assets Advisory in Orlando, Florida.
“When we have a growing market, tech stocks are going to do well and this is a sign that the economy is doing well and will continue to do so.”
The financials slipped 0.3 percent as U.S. bank stocks, like its European counterparts, bore the brunt of investor worries over exposure to Turkey’s crisis.
Shares of Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan were down between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent.
The lira has tumbled more than 40 percent reut.rs/2vFv6Ue against the dollar this year on worries over President Tayyip Erdogan's increasing control over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.
At 11:23 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 42.08 points, or 0.17 percent, at 25,271.06, the S&P 500 was up 0.77 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,834.05 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 15.93 points, or 0.20 percent, at 7,855.04.
Among stocks, Harley Davidson fell 3 percent after President Donald Trump backed boycotting American motorcycle manufacturer.
Netflix’s shares dipped 0.6 percent and was the only one of the FAANG stocks trading lower, after the video streaming service provider said its Chief Financial Officer David Wells plans to step down.
Nielsen Holdings jumped 9.6 percent, the most on the S&P 500, after activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a stake and said would push for a sale of the TV-ratings company.
VF Corp dropped 4.6 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P after the apparel maker decided to spin off Lee and Wrangler jeans into a separate public company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.45-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.32-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 49 new highs and 74 new lows.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur