* Buffett’s Berkshire rises after strong results
* PepsiCo up as CEO Indra Nooyi to step down
* Intel down after Barclays downgrade
* Dow down 0.22 pct, S&P up 0.02 pct, Nasdaq up 0.06 pct (Updates to open)
By Sruthi Shankar
Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday as investors weighed an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China, and a mixed bag of corporate results.
China proposed a set of differentiated tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports last week, retaliating to the Trump administration’s plans of 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Chinese state media launched a personal attack on President Donald Trump’s trade policies on Monday, saying his trade “extortion” would not work.
The months-long dispute has roiled financial markets across the globe, although the U.S. markets have been largely supported by a strong earnings season so far.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc rose 3.6 percent after the Warren Buffett-led conglomerate reported a 67 percent surge in quarterly operating profit.
Newell Brands dropped 7 percent after the Sharpie pen maker reported quarterly sales below Wall Street estimates on Monday and cut its full-year forecast.
Of the more than 400 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 78.6 percent have topped earnings estimates. That is well above the average of 72 percent for the past four quarters.
The S&P 500 ended up 0.8 percent last week, closing a five-week run of gains, its first such winning streak this year.
“We’re only couple of points away from an all-time high, and as we approach that, we’re going to see a little bit of resistance,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
At 9:52 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 55.95 points, or 0.22 percent, at 25,406.63, the S&P 500 was up 0.69 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,841.04 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 4.85 points, or 0.06 percent, at 7,816.86.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 0.4 percent drop in the S&P materials index.
Praxair dropped 5.2 percent after its $86 billion merger with German industrial gases group Linde was thrown into doubt by more demands from U.S. antitrust regulators.
Intel was the biggest drag on the main indexes, dropping 1.8 percent, after Barclays downgraded the stock to “equal weight”.
PepsiCo rose 1.3 percent after the company said Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi would step down in October.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 30 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)