May 24, 2016 / 3:37 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rises more than 1 pct as bank, tech stocks jump

* Twitter touches record low after brokerage downgrade

* Toll Brothers up on revenue beat

* New U.S. home sales touch 8-year high in April

* Indexes up: Dow 1.20 pct, S&P 1.27 pct, Nasdaq 1.66 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose to their highest in the last seven sessions on Tuesday, helped by gains in technology and financial stocks.

The S&P financial sector got a big boost from a rise in banking stocks as investors speculated on the possibility of a June interest rate hike.

Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citigroup were all up more than 1.5 percent each.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s April meeting suggested a June rate hike had not been ruled out, surprising investors who had thought the Fed would stand pat until the end of the year.

“I think investors are becoming more comfortable with an early rate hike because even if the Fed does raise rates in June, it will remain extremely accommodative,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

“I think the Fed wants to recalibrate the market’s expectations regarding a hike.”

Several Fed officials struck hawkish tones in separate speeches on Monday, calling for two-three rate hikes in 2016 if supported by economic data.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks on Friday.

Traders are now pricing in a 39 percent chance of a June hike, up from 4 percent last week, as inflation creeps towards the Fed’s 2 percent target rate and the labor market strengthens.

Data on Tuesday showed new U.S. single-family home sales surged to a more than eight-year high in April and prices hit a record high, offering further evidence of a pick-up in economic growth.

The Philadelphia Housing Index climbed to a one-month high after the data.

At 11:07 a.m. ET (1507 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 209.97 points, or 1.2 percent, at 17,702.9, the S&P 500 was up 26.04 points, or 1.27 percent, at 2,074.08 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 79.28 points, or 1.66 percent, at 4,845.06.

The S&P rose above its 50-day moving average for the first time in four days. The index has not closed above the closely watched metric in almost two weeks.

The gains were broad-based, with all 10 S&P sectors in the black. The technology index’s 1.65 percent rise led the advance.

Oil reversed early losses to turn positive, as investors awaited crude oil inventory data from the United States that was expected to show a shrinking supply overhang.

Toll Brothers shares were up 5.4 percent at $28.55 as the company’s quarterly revenue beat expectations.

Twitter fell as much as 4.8 percent to a record low at $13.72 after brokerage MoffetNathanson downgraded the company’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,351 to 549. On the Nasdaq, 2,090 issues rose and 515 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 25 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 66 new highs and 18 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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