June 20, 2018 / 6:56 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Nasdaq hits record high; Dow remains under pressure

(Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

* Media names, Amazon, lift discretionary sector

* Starbucks, Oracle drop on disappointing forecasts

* Dow down 0.06 pct, S&P 500 up 0.31 pct, Nasdaq up 0.96 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 20 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq touched a record on Wednesday, lifted by a climb in large-cap tech and consumer discretionary names, while the Dow and S&P 500 were hemmed in as concerns over an escalation in the U.S.-China trade spat simmered.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc climbed 7.8 percent after Walt Disney Co, up 0.7 percent, sweetened its offer for some of the company's assets to $71.3 billion, looking to topple Comcast Corp's bid, up 2.2 percent.

The S&P 500 was poised to snap a three-session losing streak, as gains in media stocks helped send the consumer discretionary sector up 0.7 percent.

Names such as Facebook Inc up 2.8 percent, part of the so-called "FAANG" group, also rose. Alphabet nL4N1TM43P advanced 1.5 percent and Amazon.com Inc rose 1.4 percent. Shares in those companies have been relatively unaffected by trade worries. The S&P tech sector was 0.7 percent higher.

Shares in Boeing Co, which has acted as a proxy for trade fears, rose 0.8 percent after six straight declines and kept the Dow near the unchanged mark. The planemaker was considering plans of a new mid-market jet that could enter service in 2025.

"There haven't been new trade tariffs announced. Investors can focus a little more on the fundamentals," said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15.7 points, or 0.06 percent, to 24,684.51, the S&P 500 gained 8.69 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,771.28 and the Nasdaq Composite added 74.08 points, or 0.96 percent, to 7,799.67.

Markets skidded on Tuesday after President Donald Trump's latest tariff threats against Chinese goods rang alarm bells over an escalating U.S.-China trade spat.

The United States is also under fire from other countries for its protectionist measures. The European Union will start charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products from Friday after Washington imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum at the start of June.

Chip stocks, which derive a large part of their revenue from China, were also trading higher. The PHLX semiconductor index advanced 0.7 percent after dropping more than 2 percent over the past three sessions.

Shares in General Electric Co, the last remaining original member of the 30-stock Dow, fell 0.7 percent after being booted from the index. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc , which will replace GE, jumped 4.9 percent.

Starbucks Corp tumbled 9.4 percent after the world's largest coffee chain's quarterly sales growth forecast missed analysts' estimates.

Oracle Corp slumped 6.7 percent after the software maker's current-quarter profit forecast fell short of analysts' expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.75-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.18-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 197 new highs and 26 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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