March 23, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 6 months ago

US STOCKS-Nike lifts S&P and Dow, chip stocks weigh on Nasdaq

* Nike jumps on positive N. America sales forecast

* Dropbox set for trading debut

* Chip stocks down, Citi downgrades Micron on NAND pricing woes

* Dow up 0.30 pct, S&P up 0.08 pct, Nasdaq down 0.30 pct (Updates to open)

By Sruthi Shankar

March 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were lifted by gains in Nike on Friday, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq was weighed down by losses in chip stocks led by Micron Technology.

Shares of the world's largest footwear maker rose 3.5 percent after the company said it expected its North America business to return to growth in the latter half of the year.

Micron Technology fell more than 6 percent after Citigroup downgraded the chipmaker, citing falling NAND prices. The company, however, posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday.'

Shares of other chipmakers also came under pressure, weighing on the S&P tech index, which was off 0.56 percent, and leading to a 1.8 percent drop on the Philadelphia semiconductor index.

The S&P technology index has lost 5.3 percent in the past four days in the aftermath of Facebook's data privacy issues.

Investors also assessed the implications of a potential trade war between the United States and China.

President Donald Trump on Thursday moved to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, deepening fears that the world's two largest economies are heading into a trade war.

China disclosed its own plans Friday to slap tariffs on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports, but also urged the United States to "pull back from the brink.

"China came back with proposed tariffs, but it was not nearly as large as United States, and that's given people a little bit of semblance of hope that maybe this is not going to turn into a full-fledged trade war and maybe that there's room for negotiation," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in New York.

"The focus is going to be back on what's actually working, and economies around the world are still improving."

The latest economic data pointed to a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. capital goods data for February.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, jumped 1.8 percent last month in its biggest gain in five months. Economists had forecast a gain of only 0.8 percent.

In a surprise move, Trump made a threat to veto a newly passed $1.3 trillion spending bill by Congress, raising the specter of a possible government shutdown ahead of a midnight Friday deadline to keep federal agencies open.

At 10:26 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 72.12 points, or 0.3 percent, at 24,030.01, the S&P 500 was up 2.15 points, or 0.081326 percent, at 2,645.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 21.18 points, or 0.3 percent, at 7,145.50.

Dropbox Inc is set to make its long-awaited trading debut on the Nasdaq after the cloud storage company topped expectations with the upsized price of its initial public offering. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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