US STOCKS-Wall St rises on Home Depot and Apple; data helps
* Home Depot climbs after earnings, outlook
* Apple retakes triple-digit territory, hits $100
* July U.S. housing starts exceed expectations; CPI barely rises
* Dow up 0.5 pct; S&P 500 up 0.4 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct (Updates to midday)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday after solid earnings from Home Depot helped lift retailers' shares and Apple touched $100 for the first time since its stock split this summer. Data on housing and inflation gave the market more support.
Home Depot Inc gained 6 percent to $88.66, marking the stock's largest percentage gain since May 2009 and giving the biggest boost to the Dow. The world's largest home improvement retailer reported earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street's expectations. Home Depot also raised its full-year profit forecast.
The S&P 500 retail index shot up 2 percent, its biggest gain since Feb. 6. The index is up nearly 6 percent for the month so far.
Apple Inc returned to the triple-digit zone, hitting $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one stock split in June and giving the iPad and iPhone maker a market capitalization that topped $600 billion. The rally in Apple's stock was the single biggest force lifting the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 index on Tuesday. At midday, Apple was up 1.3 percent at $100.49. Continuación...