September 12, 2016 / 2:52 PM / in 2 years

REFILE-US STOCKS-Tech boost helps Wall St reverse course to trade higher

(Corrects syntax in headline)

* Fed’s policy meeting scheduled on Sept. 20-21

* Perrigo rises after Starboard reveals stake

* Apple boosts three major indexes

* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.42 pct, Nasdaq 0.57 pct

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street reversed course to trade higher on Monday as gains in technology stocks more than offset declines in financials, with investors fretting over the timing of the next interest rate hike.

The S&P 500 technology index rose 0.52 percent, helped by a 1.4 percent rise in Apple. The stock was also the top influence on all three major indexes.

A number of top Fed officials have hinted at a possible raise at the central bank’s next policy-setting meeting on Sept. 20-21. The latest was Atlanta Fed Bank President Dennis Lockhart who said on Monday a “serious discussion” was warranted.

However, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari suggested to CNBC that he saw little urgency to take action given the state of the economy.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard’s speech at 1:15 p.m. ET will be scrutinized to see if she maintains her dovish stance on rates or takes a more aggressive posture.

Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the defensive sectors - utilities, telecom services and consumer staples - the top percentage gainers.

Financials were the only sector in the red.

“Today what you are seeing is a market that is checking to see if the action on Friday was justifiable,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

“You’re also seeing some buyers step-in, trying to do some bargain hunting. Though their commitment is suspect right now.”

At 10:33 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54.85 points, or 0.3 percent, at 18,140.3.

The S&P 500 was up 8.86 points, or 0.42 percent, at 2,136.67.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 29.15 points, or 0.57 percent, at 5,155.06.

The rising expectations of a September rate hike had sent the three major U.S. stock indexes tumbling on Friday in their worst decline since the Brexit vote.

That distanced the benchmark S&P 500 index from its record highs, which it has been clocking since July when expectations of a rate hike this year were muted.

Perrigo rose 3.4 percent after activist investor Starboard Value disclosed a stake and delivered a letter to the drugmaker’s executives. The stock was the top percentage gainer on the S&P.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,426 to 1,405. On the Nasdaq, 1,318 issues fell and 1,282 rose.

The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded eight new highs and 28 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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