(Corrects company name in paragraph 13 to “Equifax” from “Equinox”)
* Yellen’s speech at 12:45 p.m. ET
* Equifax down after CEO resigns
* Tech stocks rebound
* Indexes down: Dow 0.01 pct, S&P 0.02 pct, Nasdaq 0.03 pts
By Sruthi Shankar
Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks gave up early gains on Tuesday as rising tensions between the United states and North Korea weighed, while investors awaited Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech for more clarity on interest rate hikes.
North Korean has boosted defenses on its east coast, a South Korean lawmaker said, following Pyongyang’s threat that it would shoot down U.S. bombers flying near the peninsula.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said the United States should assume that North Korea has the ability to hit U.S. mainland and that it has the will to use that capacity.
Yellen’s speech is also in focus after Fed officials gave differing views on inflation, keeping investors guessing about the path that the central bank plans to take on interest rates.
“The Fed is in a bit of a quandary,” said Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenberg Thalmann Asset Management in New York.
“The market is concerned about the Fed being aggressive, perhaps pushing us to a place where we don’t want to be, whether its an inverted yield curve or recession”.
At 11:31 a.m. ET (1531 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.8 points, or 0.01 percent, at 22,294.29, the S&P 500 was down 0.53 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,496.13 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.82 points, or 0.03 percent, at 6,368.77.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology sector’s 0.22 percent rise leading the gainers.
The sector had taken a beating on Monday, recording its worst daily performance in five weeks, on increasing worries that the top-performing tech shares were falling out of favor.
Apple rose 1.5 percent to $152.54, posting its first rise in four sessions and propping up the three major indexes, after Raymond James raised price target by $10 to $170.
Nvidia was up more than 4 percent, following a launch of an artificial intelligence-related software product.
Financial index though was the biggest laggard, falling 0.14 percent.
Among stocks, credit reporting firm Equifax fell 1.67 percent after the company said its Chief Executive Richard Smith would retire in the wake of a massive cyber attack.
Red Hat rose 2.22 percent after the Linux distributor’s quarterly profit came in above estimates and the company raised its full-year forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,584 to 1,161. On the Nasdaq, 1,536 issues rose and 1,206 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)