* August consumer spending up 0.1 pct vs. est. rise of 0.2 pct
* Core PCE price index rises 1.3 percent year-on-year
* Indexes: Dow down 0.06 pct, S&P up 0.20 pct, Nasdaq up 0.47 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Sept 29 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record levels on Friday, the last day of the third quarter, helped by gains in technology and financial stocks.
Reports of President Donald Trump’s meeting with former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh to discuss his potential nomination as Fed chairman was seen as a trigger for financial shares.
“He’s definitely more hawkish on the spectrum,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.
“He is quite a contrast to Yellen. It does seem he is the front runner even though it’s not a sure thing he will be nominated.”
Investors also assessed a raft of economic reports including a crucial reading of August inflation, which increased at its slowest pace in nearly two years.
“We had a lot of economic data points, but not a lot of catalysts for investors in one direction or another,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.
“The inflation data has generally been underwhelming, but the central bank has maintained their staunch position regarding the balance sheet runoff and rate increases, so the market has adjusted its expectation.”
The market’s focus also remained firmly on Trump’s tax plan and his ability to push it through Congress.
The plan called for tax cuts for most Americans, but drew criticism that it favors business and the rich and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit.
The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly rise in 2017, while the three major Wall Street indexes were set to lock in gains for the month and the quarter.
At 11:20 a.m. ET (1520 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.69 points, or 0.06 percent, at 22,368.51, the S&P 500 was up 5.04 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,515.1 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 30.57 points, or 0.47 percent, at 6,484.02.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by the technology sector.
Facebook’s 1.25 percent rise and Amazon’s 0.78 percent gain were the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq.
Financials rose 0.22 percent, helped by gains in Wells Fargo.
Alphabet’s 1.12 percent rise and Amazon’s 0.6 percent gains propped up the Nasdaq.
KB Home jumped about 6 percent after the homebuilder’s profit and revenue came above estimates, prompting a slew of price-target raises.
Gainers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,633 to 1,095. On the Nasdaq, 1,684 shares rose and 1,052 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva)