* Wal-Mart biggest drag on Dow, S&P
* Housing starts jump to 7.5-yr high
* Indexes down: Dow 0.06 pct, S&P 0.06 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct (Updates prices)
By Sweta Singh
May 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock fell on Tuesday, dragged down by Wal-Mart’s weak results and after a rally that took the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 to record closing highs.
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.
Markets have been pushed higher by the fact that there is nowhere else to invest, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were down, with the energy index weighing the most with a 1.04 percent fall. Exxon Mobil fell 0.68 percent, making it the biggest drag on the index.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened and on evidence of ample supplies of Middle Eastern oil despite wars in northern Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
At 10:18 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones industrial average was down 11.18 points, or 0.06 percent, at 18,287.7, the S&P 500 was down 1.28 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,127.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 5.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,073.32.
Wal-Mart shares fell 3.7 percent to $76.98 and were the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500 after the company reported lower-than-expected U.S. same-store sales growth.
Apple was little changed at $130.16, a day after investor Carl Icahn said the stock was “still dramatically undervalued”.
Home Depot rose 0.2 percent to $114.56 after the company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
TJX Cos rose 3.1 percent to $69.33 after it reported a 6 percent rise in quarterly sales.
Urban Outfitters was down 17 percent at $33.73 after it reported quarterly sales that fell short of market estimates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,960 to 878, for a 2.23-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,521 issues fell and 951 advanced for a 1.60-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 index posted 31 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 79 new highs and 22 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)