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US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 down after Apple's sales warning but off session lows

By Caroline Valetkevitch

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* Apple down after sales warning

* Walmart forecasts downbeat online sales growth

* Dow down 0.5%, S&P down 0.2%, Nasdaq up 0.1% (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 were lower on Tuesday afternoon as a sales warning from tech bellwether Apple highlighted the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains.

But indexes were well off their lows of the day and the Nasdaq edged higher as Apple Inc trimmed its losses.

The world's most valuable technology firm said it would fall short of its recently announced quarterly sales target because of slower iPhone production and weaker demand in China. Its shares were last down 1.8%.

Apple suppliers, Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom Inc , Qorvo Inc and Skyworks Solutions Inc , were slightly lower.

China-exposed chipmakers slipped, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index shedding 1.3%, while the broader S&P technology sector lost 0.3%.

"It was more than analysts had expected from Apple," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

"There will be more companies" to cite the virus' impact, but she said "it's hard to imagine, especially in the tech world, one that is so closely correlated with China."

While the exact hit to economic and earnings growth from the epidemic in China remains to be seen, hopes that the damage would only be temporary have helped Wall Street's main indexes climb to record highs in recent sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.09 points, or 0.48%, to 29,256.99, the S&P 500 lost 7.08 points, or 0.21%, to 3,373.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.89 points, or 0.1%, to 9,741.06.

Walmart Inc shares rose 1.6% even after the world's biggest retailer forecast slowing online growth for the year and reported weak results for the holiday quarter.

Conagra Brands Inc shed 5.4% after the packaged food company lowered its full-year profit and sales outlook.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 69 new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 120 new highs and 60 new lows. (Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Lisa Shumaker)