* Crude prices drop, pulling energy stocks down
* China unveils new retaliatory tariffs
* Disney falls after posting disappointing results
* Tech shares give S&P 500, Nasdaq their biggest boost
* Indexes: Dow fell 0.18 pct, S&P down 0.03 pct, Nasdaq up 0.06 pct
(Updates to market close)
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed slightly lower on Wednesday as falling crude prices and trade jitters held markets in check.
The Nasdaq posted its seventh consecutive daily advance, while the Dow was down marginally. The S&P 500's dip occurred as the index has inched closer in recent days to its record high set on Jan. 26.
"We had in January the fastest 10 percent decline from an all-time high in history," said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling in Austin, Texas. "When you have substantial declines, particularly off of previous highs, you normally will see periods of digestion."
China introduced new 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of goods imported from the United States in the latest tit-for-tat in the escalating trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. is going to continue at least until the midterm elections" in November, Phipps said. "Why would (China) negotiate with the U.S. now when they may get a mixed government to negotiate with after November?"
Energy stocks .SPNY fell 0.8 percent as crude prices LCOc1 dropped due to slowing Chinese demand and trade concerns. .SPLRCT provided the largest boost to the S&P 500, led by Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Facebook Inc FB.O and Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O .
Shares of Tesla Inc TSLA.O fell 2.4 percent as its board evaluated Elon Musk's idea of taking the electric automaker private, a day after the chief executive surprised the market by floating the proposal on Twitter. Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 45.16 points, or 0.18 percent, to 25,583.75, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.75 point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,857.7 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 4.66 points, or 0.06 percent, to 7,888.33.
Second-quarter earnings season has entered the home stretch, and of the 440 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 78.6 percent have beaten analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Walt Disney Co DIS.N dropped 2.2 percent after its quarterly profit missed estimates, and after a source reported that China has denied the company's request to screen its film "Christopher Robin" in the country. of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O were slightly up in choppy post-market trading after posting better-than-expected results. gainers, CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS ) CVS.N beat analyst estimates and announced it now expects its acquisition of Aetna (NYSE: AET ) AET.N to close in the latter half of 2018. The drugstore operator's shares rose 4.2 percent. Mylan NV MYL.O recovered from earlier losses after it said it was actively evaluating a "wide range of alternatives" following a disappointing earnings report The stock ended the session up 1.8 percent.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd KORS.N gained 6.7 percent after beating analyst profit forecasts and raising its full-year forecast. issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 23 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 80 new highs and 77 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.95 billion shares, compared to the 6.31 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
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