(Adds sourcing of Fischer comments in 3rd paragraph)
* Fed’s Fischer says no decision yet on September rate hike
* July consumer spending picks up slightly
* U.S. crude jumps 6 pct; Chevron up 4.4 pct
* Indexes: Dow down 0.23 pct, S&P down 0.17 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Noel Randewich
Aug 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street was moderately lower on Friday afternoon after comments by a top Federal Reserve official suggested that a September rate rise was more likely than some investors expected.
Markets were their least volatile in a over a week after recent sessions saw the S&P 500 plummet 11 percent before rebounding sharply.
Stocks moved lower after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer told CNBC the Fed had not yet decided whether to raise interest rates in September.
Many on Wall Street have hoped the recent global market turbulence and worries about China’s economy would lead the Fed to hold off raising rates, an expectation reinforced by comments on Wednesday from New York Fed President William Dudley.
Following Fischer’s comments, overnight indexed swap rates implied traders now see a 35 percent chance the Fed would raise rates in September, up from 22 percent earlier in the week.
“A lot of investors are rebalancing their portfolios before going into the weekend,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.
At 2:46 pm the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.23 percent at 16,616.65 and the S&P 500 was 0.17 percent lower at 1,984.29. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1 percent to 4,817.48.
The recent market turmoil has prompted several strategists to cut their end-of-year forecasts for indexes.
Credit Suisse, for example, cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 2,100 from 2,200 on Friday.
Strong gains over the last two days suggested that the worst might be over, but the CBOE Volatility index indicated that the market was still more volatile than usual.
The index - popularly known as the “fear index” - was up 2.3 percent at 26.70. It soared to a more than 6-year-high earlier in the week.
“Anytime you see heightened volatility, especially when you haven’t seen volatility in a long time, your anxiety goes up,” said Mike Binger, a portfolio manager at Gradient Investments in Shoreview, Minnesota.
Eight of the 10 major sectors were lower, with the utilities index’s 0.9 percent fall leading the decliners. The energy index jumped 1.4 percent as oil added to gains.
Chevron’s 3.4 percent gain provided the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P 500.
Data released on Friday showed U.S. consumer spending picked up a bit in July, further evidence of strength in the economy.
Autodesk dropped 7.3 percent after the maker of computer-aided design software cut its full-year profit and revenue forecast.
Big Lots was jumped 16 percent after its second-quarter profit beat expectations and the company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
While the Dow and S&P were negative, advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,917 to 1,114. On the Nasdaq, 1,882 issues rose and 877 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 22 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)