* Fed Chair Janet Yellen to speak at 4:00 p.m. ET
* Apple drops on Barclays price target cut
* Indexes down: Dow 0.22 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower in choppy trading late Thursday morning, pulled lower by Apple and healthcare stocks.
The S&P healthcare index fell 0.7 percent, marking the second straight day of decline as shares of Merck and Johnson & Johnson booked losses.
Apple fell 1.23 percent after Barclays cut its price target. The stock was the biggest drag on Wall Street.
Investors are awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech in Washington for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike.
“The markets are taking a step back after a couple of pretty good days,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
“It is the end of the quarter so there are people messing around with some positions.”
The three indexes have registered gains in the past two days.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 40.85 points, or 0.22 percent, at 18,298.39.
The S&P 500 was down 4.78 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,166.59.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 22.79 points, or 0.43 percent, at 5,295.75.
Five of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, with utilities falling the most by 1.1 percent. The sector, which is sensitive to interest rates, is on track to mark its fifth day of losses in a row.
Kansas City Fed President and voting member Esther George told CNBC that it was time to move ahead with a rate hike, a stand that Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart echoed.
Oil prices were up 0.4 percent, after Wednesday’s 6 percent rally, as investors questioned whether an OPEC agreement to curb production would be enough to rebalance a heavily over-supplied market.
ConAgra was the top percentage gainer on the S&P, rising 7.3 percent after the company’s profit beat analysts’ estimate.
Intra-Cellular plunged 63.2 percent after the company said its schizophrenia drug did not show any clinically significant difference when compared with placebo.
Ebay rose 3 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded the e-commerce platform’s rating to “buy” and raised its price target.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,667 to 1,156. On the Nasdaq, 1,625 issues fell and 995 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 20 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)