* April consumer prices record biggest gain in 3 years
* Oil prices trim gains
* LendingClub set to open at record low after DOJ probe
* Futures down: Dow 44 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 7.5 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal
May 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open lower on Tuesday as data showed U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in more than three years in April and raised the chances of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates this year.
The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent last month, the largest gain since February 2013, after rising 0.1 percent in March. That took the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent in March.
“We have the CPI which came in more than expected and that’s going to put us again on Fed watch,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
“We also had the housing starts come in stronger-than-expected, so that’s another indication that the economy is picking up steam.”
Investors are closely watching data to assess when the Fed will raise interest rates. While some Fed officials have suggested two hikes this year, traders are pricing in only one hike at the end of the year.
While the labor market has gained strength, inflation has stubbornly remained below the Fed’s 2 percent target. The central bank’s preferred inflation measure stands at 1.6 percent.
U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in April as builders ramped up the construction of single and multi-family homes, supporting views that the economy was regaining steam early in the second quarter.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.27 percent, with 200,117 contracts traded at 8:43 a.m. ET (1243 GMT). Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 7.5 points, or 0.17 percent, on volume of 24,021 contracts. Dow e-minis were down 44 points, or 0.25 percent, with 30,559 contracts changing hands.
Oil prices were off about 0.2 percent after rallying nearly 3 percent to a shade below $50 as supply disruptions in Nigeria and positive outlook from Goldman Sachs boosted risk appetite.
Wall Street closed up 1 percent on Monday, also boosted by a jump in Apple’s shares. Apple was up 0.4 percent at $94.23 in premarket trading on Tuesday.
Home Depot was down 0.4 percent at $135.34 even after the home improvement company raised its full-year sales growth and profit forecast.
Off-price retailer TJX Cos Inc was up 3 percent at $77.51, after the company’s quarterly sales rose about 10 percent.
LendingClub fell nearly 11 percent to $3.52 and was set to open at a record low after the Department of Justice launched a probe into the company.
San Francisco Fed president John Williams and Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart are scheduled to speak at 12:25 p.m. ET in Washington. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)