US STOCKS-S&P, Dow lifted by financials; Fed in focus
* Fed's monetary policy meet starts Tuesday
* Sarepta soars after FDA approves muscle drug
* Apple drags down Nasdaq
* Dow up 0.21 pct, S&P up 0.19 pct, Nasdaq down 0.02 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 19 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow rose on Monday afternoon, lifted by financial stocks, a day before the Federal Reserve holds a meeting to discuss interest rates.
The Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged at the two-day meeting, but investors will assess Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Wednesday for clues on the timing of the next rate hike.
"There is an overriding sense that the Fed is going to move in December," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.
The probability of a December move shot up to 70 percent in the past month from 57.5 percent in the previous month, according to a Reuters poll of over 100 economists. Continuación...