US STOCKS-Bank shares buoy Wall St as Fed signals possible June hike

miércoles 18 de mayo de 2016 16:36 GYT

* Stocks, volatile after Fed meeting minutes, end flat

* Financial shares have best day in a month

* Target plunges after quarterly sales miss expectations

* Dow down 0.02 pct, S&P up 0.02 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct (Updates with close of U.S. markets)

By Lewis Krauskopf

May 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street closed flat on Wednesday after a volatile session, supported by bank shares, as the minutes from the Federal Reserve's April meeting signaled a potential interest rate increase in the near term.

Officials from the U.S. central bank said it would be appropriate to raise interest rates in June if economic data points to stronger second-quarter growth as well as firming inflation and employment, according to the minutes.

Following the release of the minutes, traders were projecting a 34 percent chance the Fed would raise rates in June, up from 15 percent on Tuesday, according to the CME FedWatch tool. For July, traders see a more than 50 percent chance of rates rising.

"It did catch the market by surprise," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "The discussion going forward will be, is the economy strong enough to take another rate hike, how do the markets respond between now and the June meeting."   Continuación...