March 23, 2018 / 3:48 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-Nike, energy stock help Wall St steady, but chip stocks weigh

* Nike jumps on positive N. America sales forecast

* Micron sinks on pricing worries, weighs on chip stocks

* Dropbox surges as much as 48 pct in trading debut

* Dow up 0.29 pct, S&P up 0.08 pct, Nasdaq down 0.15 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

March 23 (Reuters) - Nike and energy companies led modest gains in U.S. stocks on Friday, amid lingering fears of a trade war, although a Micron-led slump in semiconductor companies kept gains in check.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was modestly higher, helped by Nike and as industrial stocks gained after a bruising day on Thursday when the United States moved to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, sparking fears of a trade war.

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

"Nothing's happened yet, except for the tariffs in the U.S. Investors don't want to sell and buy back at a higher price and if the diplomacy wins and trade war is not as severe as everyone's thinking," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments in New York.

"So right now the market's in a wait-and-see period, they are waiting to see what the next catalyst will be - bullish or bearish."

Also helping sentiment was data showing new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods posted its biggest gain in five months in February.

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

At 11:00 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index , which gained 0.29 percent to 24,027.28. The S&P 500 rose 0.08 percent to 2,645.88 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.15 percent to 7,155.72.

Nike shares rose 3.2 percent after the company said it expected North America business to return to growth in the latter half of the year.

Oil prices jumped more than 1.5 percent after the Saudi energy minister said OPEC and allied producers would need to keep coordinating supply cuts into 2019.

The S&P energy index was up 1.23 percent. The industrial index was up 0.36 percent, led by a 2.5 percent gain for Boeing.

Micron Technology fell about 5 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 0.13 percent, and leading to a 1.2 percent drop on the Philadelphia semiconductor index.

Dropbox Inc surged as much as 48 percent in their market debut on Friday as investors rushed to buy into the biggest tech IPO in more than a year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.11-to-1 ratio, and for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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