* Fed on track to raise rates twice more this year - Evans
* Nasdaq hits fresh intraday high
* Walt Disney higher as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tops box office
* Dow up 0.11 pct, S&P down 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.10 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite easing off its record intraday high, as investors looked for fresh catalysts after the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike last week.
The U.S. stock market has been on a record-setting spree since the election of Donald Trump as president, but the rally has faltered in recent weeks as investors fret over the lack of clarity on his proposals to reform taxes and cut regulation.
Analysts have also said the Trump administration is spending too much of its political capital to pass a Republican-proposed healthcare bill, which may leave it wanting for support when it tries to reform the tax code.
“With tax reform and infrastructure spending getting pushed to the end of this year or even next year, it will eventually weigh on sentiment and business confidence,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
“Eventually, the market will lose patience,” Frederick said.
At 12:42 p.m. ET (1642 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23.34 points, or 0.11 percent, at 20,937.96.
The S&P 500 was down 1.45 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,376.8. The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.64 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,906.64, off its record high of 5915.12.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the utilities index’s 0.65 percent fall leading the decliners.
Oil fell as investors continued to unwind bets on higher prices.
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s conservative rate guidance is also keeping the market in check. All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans when he speaks later in the day.
In an interview with Fox Business Network TV earlier on Monday, Evans said the Fed is on track to raise interest rates twice more this year.
A host of Fed officials are scheduled to speak this week, including Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday.
Last week, the central bank raised interest rates for the first time this year but stuck to its outlook for two more hikes this year, instead of three expected by the market.
Apple rose nearly 1 percent, hitting a new record-high of $141.34.
The iPhone-maker’s stock could rise another 10 percent in six months, Barron’s wrote in an article posted Saturday and Cowen & Co upgraded its price target on the stock.
Caterpillar rose 2.4 percent to $95.15, providing the biggest boost to the Dow, after the company reported a smaller decline in sales for 3 months through February versus period ending in January.
Walt Disney rose 0.9 percent to $112.75 after the company’s “Beauty and the Beast” topped box-office sales. The stock was among the biggest boosts on the Dow.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,592 to 1,238. On the Nasdaq, 1,620 issues fell and 1,180 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 25 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 91 new highs and 29 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)