US STOCKS-Wall St gains on Apple, dimmer chances of rate hike
* August retail sales drop more-than-expected
* Industrial output drops by 0.4 pct vs est. 0.3 pct
* Apple up for 4th day as iPhone 7 Plus sells out
* Indexes up: Dow 0.61 pct, S&P 0.67 pct, Nasdaq 1.03 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Thursday, boosted by Apple and lackluster economic data that further dimmed the prospects of an interest rate hike in the near term.
Retail sales and industrial activity fell more than expected in August. The data follows reports showing a slowdown in job growth and a slump in manufacturing activity for the month.
However, jobless claims rose less than expected last week, indicating strength in the labor market - a key barometer the Federal Reserve considers while deciding monetary policy.
"The Fed continues to be in a real pickle. They want to raise rates and the data was strong in the past few weeks, but now you get the retail sales number and that takes the wind out of the sails a little bit," said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management in Boston, Massachusetts. Continuación...