US STOCKS-Wall St little changed, held back by Wal-Mart
* Wal-Mart biggest drag on Dow, S&P
* Housing starts jump to 7.5-yr high
* Indexes: Dow up 0.05 pct, S&P down 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.12 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Sweta Singh
May 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday, constrained by Wal-Mart's weak results and as investors took a breather after a rally that took the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 to record closing highs the previous day.
Stronger-than-expected housing data also suggested that the Federal Reserve could have room to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.
U.S. housing starts jumped to their highest level in nearly 7-1/2 years in April and permits soared.
A stream of weak economic data through last week suggested that Fed would wait to see more strength in the economy before raising rates.
Global stock markets jumped and the dollar rose on signals the European Central Bank may accelerate its 1 trillion euro ($1.11 trillion) bond-buying program over the next two months. Continuación...