January 29, 2019 / 6:34 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Tech keeps Nasdaq, S&P under pressure; industrials lift Dow

* Allergan drops as 2019 forecast misses estimates

* Harley-Davidson tumbles on 4th-qtr profit miss

* 3M, defense companies lead industrial stocks higher

* Apple inches higher ahead of earnings

* Dow up 0.28 pct, S&P off 0.14 pct, Nasdaq down 0.69 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 29 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq came under pressure from weakness in technology stocks ahead of Apple's results on Tuesday, while a rebound in industrial stocks lifted the Dow.

U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday as profit alerts from Caterpillar Inc and Nvidia Corp raised fears that a slowdown in China and tariffs could take a bigger hit on profits.

Industrial stocks, which took a beating after Caterpillar's warning on Monday, rose 1.1 percent, helped by upbeat reports for 3M Co and defense companies.

Technology stocks fell 0.8 percent, weighed down by chipmakers and Microsoft Corp.

Apple Inc, set to report after market close on Tuesday, was trading flat. The iPhone maker earlier this month took the rare step of cutting its quarterly sales forecast, blaming slowing sales in China, whose economy has been dragged down by a tit-for-tat tariff war with the United States.

"There's a cautious approach today," said Paul Brigandi, Managing Director and Head of Trading at Direxion. "No one wants to place any large bets ahead of big events like the jobs report, the Fed meeting, the U.S.-China tariff negotiations along with it being the biggest week for earnings,"

As Washington and Beijing officials prepare for a high-level trade meeting this week, the Justice Department leveled charges against China's telecom giant Huawei, potentially casting a cloud on the talks.

The Federal Reserve begins its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. After raising rates gradually last year, the central bank is taking a wait-and-see approach to further tightening in the face of an overseas slowdown and market volatility.

At 1:08 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 69.17 points, or 0.28 percent, at 24,597.39, the S&P 500 was down 3.65 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,640.20 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 48.96 points, or 0.69 percent, at 7,036.72.

Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft, all scheduled to report later this week, fell more than 2 percent.

Four of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower. The S&P communication services index fell 0.88 percent, dragged down by wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc , which dipped 2.5 percent after missing quarterly revenue estimates.

Defense contractors L3 Technologies Inc rose 7 percent and Harris Corp climbed 7.4 percent after topping quarterly earnings estimates.

3M rose 1.8 percent after fourth-quarter results topped estimates, but the Post-It notes maker trimmed 2019 earnings outlook, saying that a slowdown at its Chinese business was hurting revenue.

Harley-Davidson Inc dropped 7.7 percent after the motorcycle maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hit by declining sales in the United States.

Allergan Plc fell 7.5 percent after the Botox maker forecast 2019 revenue below expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 21 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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