US STOCKS-Financials lift Wall St as rate hike optimism grows

jueves 25 de agosto de 2016 11:39 GYT

* Two Fed officials' comments boost rate hike optimism

* Financials stocks give biggest boost to S&P

* Fed Chair Janet Yellen due to speak on Friday

* Indexes up: Dow 0.06 pct, S&P 0.13 pct, Nasdaq 0.22 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street reversed course to eke out small gains on late on Thursday morning as financial stocks gained after two more Federal Reserve officials said the case for an interest rate hike was strengthening.

Their comments followed the hawkish tone set by key Fed policymakers in recent days and came ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday at Jackson Hole, which will be assessed to see if she takes an aggressive stance.

"I do think it is time to move that rate," Kansas City Fed President and voting member, Esther George, told CNBC, while Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said the central bank was "moving toward being able to take another step."

Following the comments, traders sharply increased their expectations hike in September to 24 percent from 18 percent, while they are pricing in a roughly 55 percent chance of a December hike, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.   Continuación...