* Q3 GDP growth at 2 percent
* Chipotle drops after Federal probe into E.coli strain
* Brent recovers from 11-year low
* Indexes up: Dow 0.93 pct, S&P 0.79 pct, Nasdaq 0.51 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Dec 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Tuesday as crude oil prices recovered slightly and data showed that the U.S. economy grew at a fairly healthy clip in the third quarter.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 1 percent, with Caterpillar up 5.3 percent and on the way to its biggest one-day gain since October.
Brent crude prices recovered marginally but remained near their lowest levels since mid-2004, with persistent global oversupply concerns and tepid demand for heating oil remaining in what is likely to be the warmest winter on record.
That recovery was enough to push the S&P energy sector 1.38 percent higher. The sector has been the worst performer in 2015, falling about 24 percent so far this year.
Chevron shares were up 0.9 percent while Exxon was up 0.5 percent.
The materials index rose 1.4 percent, with Dow Chemical up 1.78 percent.
Much of Tuesday’s gains were a result of last-minute tweaks by investment funds, said Ken Winans, president of Winans Investments in Novato, California.
“It’s shoring up, late-in-the-month repositioning of portfolios and reallocation,” Winans said.
Potentially easing concerns about the pace of future interest rate hikes, the U.S. Commerce Department trimmed third-quarter economic growth to a 2 percent annual pace from the 2.1 percent estimated earlier.
At 2:27 p.m. EST (1927 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.93 percent at 17,412.2 points.
The S&P 500 gained 0.79 percent to 2,037.03 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.51 percent to 4,994.32.
Trading volumes are expected to be relatively light this week, with U.S. stock markets operating a shortened session on Thursday and closing on Friday for Christmas.
Shares of Nike, the top gainer this year in the Dow Jones industrial average, rose 1.3 percent ahead of its fiscal second-quarter report expected after the bell.
Chipotle Mexican Grill tumbled 4.4 percent after Federal authorities said they were investigating a new strain of E. coli linked to the burrito chain.
Ford jumped 3.38 percent after Automotive News reported that the automaker was in talks with Google to help build self-driving cars.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,312 to 718. On the Nasdaq, 1,687 issues rose and 1,117 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed four new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 60 new lows. (Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)