US STOCKS-Dow, S&P close at record highs as rate-hike angst abates
* Apple rises after Icahn comments
* Endo down after agreeing to buy Par Pharmaceutical
* Altera rallies on Intel M&A report
* Indexes end higher: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct (Updates to close, adds detail on index returns, valuations)
By Noel Randewich
May 18 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ended at record highs on Monday, helped by a rally in Apple as well as tepid economic data suggesting the Federal Reserve may wait to raise interest rates.
The S&P 500 racked up its third straight all-time high close, gaining 6.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 2,129.2 points. The Dow rose 26.32 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 18,298.88, beating its previous record close of 18,288.63 from March 2.
U.S. homebuilder sentiment fell in May although most builders view market conditions as favorable, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
Slowing economic expansion in recent months, stemming partly from a stronger dollar and sluggish wage growth, has led many investors to push back expectations about when the Fed will begin raising interest rates for the first time since 2006. Continuación...