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US STOCKS-S&P 500 ekes out record high, turns higher after Fed Powell report

* Apple dips amid concerns over iPhone 8 demand

* Indexes: Dow up 0.02 pct, S&P up 0.03 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct (Updates to close)

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 eked out record closing highs on Thursday, turning higher at the last minute after a Politico report that Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell is the leading candidate for the nominee for Fed chair.

Stocks had been recovering from early losses for much of the afternoon ahead of the report, which came a day after the White House said President Donald Trump will announce his decision on the matter in the "coming days."

"Clearly at the end it had everything to do with the speculation about Jerome Powell," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. "I can't observe any other reason for why we ended up."

"He's viewed to be sort of an extension of (current Fed Chair) Janet Yellen by way of being a policy dove ... and, with the market loving more of the same with regard to uber-accommodative monetary policy, as more welcome than the alternative," he said.

Powell was among several names that have circulated as possible picks, including Yellen. Other names include Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh and Stanford University economist John Taylor.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.44 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 23,163.04, the S&P 500 gained 0.84 point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,562.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 19.15 points, or 0.29 percent, to 6,605.07.

Tech shares were among the day's biggest drags, led by Apple , which fell 2.4 percent as doubts about its double 2017 iPhone release strategy weighed on investors.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.33-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish)