* Allergan up; unlikely to be hit by tax inversion rule
* Nike jumps on buyback, boosts Dow
* Alphabet gives biggest boost to S&P, Nasdaq
* Abercrombie & Fitch surges after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.50 pct, S&P 0.41 pct, Nasdaq 0.58 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Nov 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street headed for its best week in over a month on Friday, with healthcare and consumer stock rising and investors looking beyond a widely-expected December interest rate hike.
The Dow Jones industrial average briefly turned positive for the year, led by a 4.76 percent rise in Nike which announced a $12 billion share buyback and a 2-for-1 share split.
The sporting goods maker helped send the consumer discretionary sector up 1 percent, making it the top gainer among the 10 major S&P sectors.
Healthcare rose 0.7 percent, led by Allergan’s 3.5 percent increase. The drugmaker rose on reports that the U.S. Treasury’s new tax inversion rules were unlikely to thwart its proposed deal with Pfizer.
Minutes from the Fed’s October meeting, released on Wednesday, hardened expectations of a December interest rate hike and hinted at a cautious approach after that.
Many on Wall Street believe that raising rates next month will be interpreted as a sign of confidence in the U.S. economic recovery.
“There’s more risk now that if they don’t raise in December, then people will worry that we’re still not out of the woods,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer at First American Trust, in Santa Ana, California, which manages $1 billion.
At 1:52 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.5 percent at 17,821.9 points and the S&P 500 gained 0.41 percent to 2,089.69. The Nasdaq Composite added 29.19 points 0.58 percent to 5,102.83.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, rose 2.36 percent after Reuters reported that the company was planning to launch the Chinese version of its Google Play smartphone app next year. The stock was the biggest influence on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
Abercrombie & Fitch surged 28 percent. Its quarterly profit more than doubled and same-store sales fell less than expected.
Sprint tumbled 5.68 percent after the wireless carrier said it would raise about $1.1 billion in cash through a sale and lease-back deal with a company backed by Japan’s SoftBank.
Tesla lost 1.68 percent after it said it was recalling 90,000 Model S sedans to check for a possible seatbelt defect.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,851 to 1,145. On the Nasdaq, 1,800 issues rose and 936 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 32 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 72 new highs and 70 new lows. (Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)