October 15, 2018 / 7:37 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Tech stocks weigh on S&P 500; Disney gains

* Apple drops as Goldman Sachs warns on China demand

* Defensive real estate, utilities, consumer staples gain

* Bank of America down as loan growth disappoints

* L3 Technologies, Harris Corp jumps on merger plans

* Indexes: S&P down 0.16 pct, Dow flat, Nasdaq down 0.52 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline, adds NEW YORK to dateline)

By April Joyner

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 index edged lower in choppy trade on Monday as technology stocks were pressured by lingering worries over interest rates and corporate earnings, while gaining Disney shares helped keep the Dow positive.

The technology index fell 1.1 percent, weighing the most on the S&P 500 as a whole. Conversely, defensive sectors such as real estate, consumer staples and utilities , led the S&P's major sectors in percentage gains.

Walt Disney Co shares rose 1.5 percent after the company offered concessions in an attempt to allay EU antitrust concerns over its $71.3 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's entertainment assets. Fox shares rose 0.6 percent.

The major stock indexes are coming off last week's steep sell-off, which led to their sharpest weekly percentage declines in seven months. Investor concerns have mounted about the impact of tariffs and rising borrowing costs on corporate profits as the third-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear this week.

"It's the growth stocks that are taking the beating," said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas.

Even so, Phipps added, "The majority of the selling is out of the way. We had a big spike in yields, and I don't think they will accelerate like that going forward."

Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were last at 3.1595 percent, below the levels that prompted last week's sell-off.

Bank of America Corp shares dropped 0.7 percent after loan growth at the second-largest U.S. bank lagged rivals and fees from advising on deals and underwriting bonds fell in the third quarter.

Apple Inc shares fell 1.6 percent and weighed the most on all three of Wall Street's major indexes after Goldman Sachs said there were multiple signs of rapidly slowing consumer demand in China, which could affect demand for iPhones this fall.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.87 points, or 0 percent, to 25,340.86, the S&P 500 lost 4.47 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,762.66 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 38.64 points, or 0.52 percent, to 7,458.26.

The top gainers on the S&P were L3 Technologies Inc, which jumped 13.3 percent, and Harris Corp, which climbed 12.0 percent, after the military communication equipment providers announced an all-stock merger to create the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.83-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.43-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 13 new highs and 131 new lows. (Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Nick Zieminski)

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