US STOCKS-Wall St dips on consumer, healthcare; Fed in focus

jueves 25 de agosto de 2016 14:44 GYT

* Two Fed officials' comments boost rate hike bets

* Fed Chair Janet Yellen due to speak on Friday

* Retail names drag discretionary stocks

* Indexes off: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.15 pct, Nasdaq 0.11 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday, weighed down by a drop in consumer and healthcare names, while financials rose modestly after two more Federal Reserve officials pushed towards the case for a rate hike.

Consumer discretionary stocks fell 0.5 percent after disappointing results from a trio of retailers in Dollar Tree, down 9.6 percent, Dollar General, off 17 percent, and Signet Jewelers, which slumped 13 percent.

Comments from Kansas City Fed President and voting member Esther George, as well as Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, followed the hawkish tone set by key Fed policymakers in recent days. They came ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday at Jackson Hole, which investors are likely to assess for the likelihood of a rate hike.

Following the comments, traders increased their expectations of a hike in September to 24 percent from 21 percent, while pricing in a roughly 57 percent chance of a December hike, up from 50.6 percent on Wednesday, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.   Continuación...