* Wal-Mart, Home Depot rise after results
* U.S. consumer prices up 0.2 pct in Oct
* Urban Outfitters, Dick’s Sporting sink on weak results
* Dietary supplement makers fall after DoJ actions
* Indexes up: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.21 pct, Nasdaq 0.38 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Nov 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as better-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart and Home Depot allayed some concerns about consumer spending ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Wal-Mart, up 4.5 percent at $60.50, and Home Depot , 3.8 percent higher at $125.48, provided the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P.
Positive results from the big-box retailers lifted the S&P 500 retail index by 1.35 pct.
Home Depot rival Lowe‘s, which reports on Wednesday, was up 2.9 percent, and Target 1.6 percent, while TJX rose 3.5 percent to $67.92 after reporting strong results.
Retail stocks were hammered last week after weak economic data and earnings from retailers such as Macy‘s.
Data on Tuesday offered a mixed view of the health of the U.S. economy - consumer prices increased in October after two straight months of declines, while industrial production fell.
The modest rise in inflation could bolster chances of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next month, but weak industrial output raised concerns about the robustness of fourth-quarter economic growth.
The day’s muted returns are consistent with the uncertainty surrounding the rate hike, concerns about the pace of earnings growth and mixed expectations for holiday sales, said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis. “(There is) generally a wait and see attitude.”
At 12:49 p.m. ET (1749 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 48.28 points, or 0.28 percent, at 17,531.29, the S&P 500 was up 4.24 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,057.43 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 18.85 points, or 0.38 percent, at 5,003.46.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the consumer discretionary sector’s 0.61 percent rise leading the advancers.
U.S. stocks had their best day in three weeks on Monday, helped by strong gains in energy stocks as investors saw limited economic impact from the deadly attacks in Paris.
Urban Outfitters dropped 7.4 percent to $20.99 and Dick’s Sporting Goods 9.3 percent to $37.05 after the retailers reported disappointing results.
Shares of dietary supplement makers plunged after federal agencies, including the Department of Justice (DoJ), said they would announce criminal actions related to unlawful advertising and sale of dietary supplements.
GNC Holdings plunged 24 percent, Vitamin Shoppe fell nearly 8 percent and Herbalife 3 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,494 to 1,455. On the Nasdaq, 1,533 issues rose and 1,158 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 102 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)