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US STOCKS-S&P 500 inches higher ahead of economic data

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Apple hit by EU antitrust fine in Spotify case

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Macy's jumps after Arkhouse, Brigade raise buyout bid

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Super Micro Computer jumps ahead of S&P 500 entry

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Indexes: Dow dowm 0.02%, S&P up 0.21%, Nasdaq up 0.05%

(Updates prices at 02:58 p.m ET/1958 GMT)

By Sinéad Carew and Ankika Biswas

March 4 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 rose slightly on Monday afternoon after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq's record-closing highs on Friday and ahead of a week packed with economic data and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's congressional testimony.

The S&P 500's communications services index was the benchmark's weakest sector while defensive utilities was its biggest gainer.

Apple fell 2.4% following a $2-billion EU antitrust fine for preventing Spotify and other music streaming services from informing users of payment options outside its App Store. Outperformers included Nvidia, which was up 5.9% after its market value ended above $2 trillion for the first time Friday.

Investors were preparing on Monday for insights into the U.S. economy's health from key monthly data such as readings on the service sector, due on Tuesday, and non-farm payrolls data due Friday, according to Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

"The market is still trying to digest what the outlook is for the economy, earnings and the Federal Reserve," said Wren but he noted that both institutional and retail investors have some fear of missing out as they watch stocks hit fresh records.

"There's institutional money that can't sit on the books and watch the S&P 500 go higher every day and retail investors are starting to have the fear of missing out," said Wren. "Stocks are expensive but that doesn't mean they can't get more expensive before some kind of a pullback. Momentum is carrying the market and positive thinking is carrying the market."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.64 points, or 0.02%, to 39,079.74, the S&P 500 gained 10.8 points, or 0.21%, to 5,147.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.05 points, or 0.05%, to 16,283.00.

The Nasdaq had kicked off March by hitting an intraday record high on Friday, also closing at its highest level for two straight days, as the artificial intelligence-driven tech rally continues to steal the spotlight on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 has also been on a winning streak recently, jumping over 21% with four straight months of gains through February. BofA Global Research lifted its year-end target for the benchmark index to 5,400, from 5,000, representing a 5% upside from current levels.

Powell is due to testify before lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday, with analysts assuming the Fed chief to stay in wait-and-watch mode on policy after a recent escalation in inflation.

AI server maker Super Micro Computer was up 23.7%and shoe maker Deckers Outdoor jumped 3% ahead of their inclusion in the S&P 500 index.

Macy's jumped around 14% after real-estate-focused investing firm Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management raised their offer for the department store chain.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.27-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 104 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 180 new highs and 87 new lows.

(Reporting by Sinéad Carew in New York, Ankika Biswas and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Aurora Ellis)

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