December 22, 2016 / 4:28 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St falls as investors pause ahead of holiday season

* Final reading of Q3 GDP at 3.5 pct vs. est. 3.3 pct

* Apple's fall weighs on S&P, Nasdaq

* S&P has risen about 11 pct so far in 2016

* Indexes down: Dow 0.13 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.29 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped in light trading on Thursday ahead of the holiday season, pulling the Dow Jones Industrial Average further away from 20,000, a level it has never breached.

The Dow has been flirting with the historic level for the last several days and came within 13 points of the mark on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with the Dow up about 9 percent and the S&P 500 gaining 6 percent on bets that the economy would benefit from President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending.

The S&P has risen about 11 percent in 2016, topping the 8 percent gain that strategists had predicted in a Reuters poll 12 months ago.

"The market has paused a little bit after the recent rally but there is no concern regarding the fundamentals," said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia.

"We're seeing a little bit of rotation going on with investors moving out of technology and consumer sectors and into telecommunications."

The market showed little reaction to data showing that the U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching up its best performance in two years.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.5 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 3.2 percent pace, the Commerce Department said in its third GDP estimate.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.2 percent in November, below the estimated 0.3 percent gain.

At 10:50 a.m. ET (1550 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.25 points, or 0.13 percent, at 19,916.71.

The S&P 500 was down 4.61 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,260.57.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 15.82 points, or 0.29 percent, at 5,455.61.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer discretionary index's 0.58 percent fall leading the decliners. Amazon's 0.43 percent fall was a drag on the sector.

Apple fell 0.6 percent to $116.35 after Nokia said it had filed a number of lawsuits against the iPhone maker for patent infringement. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P and Nasdaq.

ConAgra rose 2.9 percent to $39.13 after the packaged foods maker's quarterly profit beat estimates.

Red Hat fell 12.5 percent to $69.79 after the Linux software distributor's quarterly revenue fell below estimates. The stock was among the biggest drags on the S&P.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,531 to 1,223. On the Nasdaq, 1,589 issues fell and 1,026 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 81 new highs and 28 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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