US STOCKS-Wall St rallies after Fed minutes solidify Dec. rate hike bets
* Fed officials again flag December as likely time for rate hike
* Apple boosts indexes, up on Goldman add to "conviction buy" list
* Qualcomm, Target drag on S&P 500
* Indexes up: Dow 1.4 pct, S&P 1.6 pct, Nasdaq 1.8 pct (Updates with market close, adds commentary)
By Sinead Carew
Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday and investors appeared positively inclined toward higher rates after minutes from the Federal Reserve October meeting showed a solid core of officials rallied behind a possible December rate hike.
Central bankers at the October policy meeting also debated evidence the U.S. economy's long-term potential may have permanently shifted lower.
The three major indexes added to earlier gains after the 2:00 PM ET Fed release and buying accelerated ahead of the close.
"I think the market is ready and comfortable for an increasing Fed funds rate," said Alan Rechtschaffen, portfolio manager at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York. "We just have to turn this aircraft carrier around, get out of this zombie-like economy which is being fed on an elixir of low interest rates and get to a process of normalization." Continuación...