* Consumer discretionary, energy stocks gain
* S&P hits fresh record high
* Apple dips as iPhone X shipping date later than expected
* Nordstrom gains as founding family picks buyout partner
* Dow flat, S&P off 0.03 pct, Nasdaq down 0.06 pct (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in late morning trading on Wednesday as Apple-led losses in technology stocks were offset by gains in consumer discretionary and energy stocks, which helped the S&P 500 inch up to a record intra-day high.
Apple AAPL.O dropped 1.3 percent on concerns about the newly launched iPhone X's hefty price tag and its later-than-expected availability date of Nov. 3. The stock was the top drag on all the three major indexes. helping the market was potential progress on tax reform as President Donald Trump prepared to host Democratic and Republican House lawmakers at the White House, seeking to build support on the agenda. Street is coming off a two-day rally that resulted in the three major indexes finishing at all-time highs on Tuesday and the S&P touching a record intra-day high.
The indexes have stayed near record levels this year despite periodic setbacks caused by turmoil in the White House, the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes, doubts about Trump's ability to push through his pro-business reforms, and lately, tensions over North Korea.
"The market's slowed the treadmill to a slight pace from the run it was on, nothing really negative," said Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado.
"The likely driver today is going to be a little bit of a late-day rally. But not very large."
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 3.82 points, or 0.06 percent, at 6,450.46.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with a rise in oil prices helping the energy index .SPNY gain 0.6 percent. O/R
Centene CNC.N rose about 6 percent after the health insurer said it would buy privately held Fidelis Care for $3.75 billion. Digital WDC.O was the biggest S&P loser, down 5.3 percent after Toshiba 6502.T said it would focus on selling its chips unit to a group led by Bain Capital and SK Hynix 000660.KS . EFX.N dropped 5 percent as investors brushed off the company's chief executive apology for a breach that may have compromised personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers and a reassurance to "make changes" to avoid further hacks.
Nordstrom JWN.N gained 6.3 percent after Reuters reported the Nordstrom family had selected private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help take the high-end retailer private. issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,420 to 1,269. On the Nasdaq, 1,474 issues rose and 1,214 fell.
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