US STOCKS-Wall St slips from highs after Fed officials' rate comments

martes 16 de agosto de 2016 16:33 GYT

* NY Fed President Dudley says September rate hike possible

* TJX shares sink after results

* Indexes down: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks eased from record highs on Tuesday after comments from Federal Reserve officials fueled speculation of an interest rate hike this year.

The S&P telecommunications index and utilities , among sectors most sensitive to changes in interest rates, led the day's declines. Telecom dropped 2.1 percent and utilities were down 1.2 percent.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said a rate hike in September was possible, while Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said the U.S. economy is likely strong enough for at least one rate increase before the end of 2016, with two a possibility.

Dudley cited evidence of wage gains and a tighter labor market that could boost inflation. Their comments came ahead of an annual meeting of central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week.

"I don't think most people are expecting the Fed to actually hike in September ... (but) we've had a strong market and a couple of good jobs numbers," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.   Continuación...