August 16, 2017 / 3:41 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rises as consumer stocks gain; Fed minutes eyed

* Fed’s minutes on July policy meeting expected at 1400 ET

* Home Depot higher; boosts S&P, Dow

* Target jumps after strong results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.32 pct, S&P 0.31 pct, Nasdaq 0.39 pct (Adds details, changes comments, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Aug 16 (Reuters) - The S&P and the Dow rose higher in late morning trading on Wednesday on gains from consumer discretionary stocks, with investors awaiting the minutes on the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

Home Depot’s shares rose 1.7 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Dow, after a slump on Tuesday following the company’s earnings.

Target rose as much as 3.9 percent, leading the gainers on the S&P consumer discretionary index, after the company’s quarterly profit and same-store sales that beat estimates.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the material index’s 0.75 gain leading the gainers.

Freeport McMoran’s 6 percent rise gave the biggest boost to the sector.

“The market is breathing a sigh of relief with the nuclear tensions having eased considerably and following a strong quarterly earnings season,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.

Investors will look for clues on future interest rake hikes this year from the minutes of central bank’s July policy meeting, which will be released at 1400 ET (1800 GMT).

Policymakers unanimously decided to keep interest rates unchanged in the July 25-26 meeting and said they planned to reduce the central bank’s massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon”.

“If the minutes suggest a deviation, whether them being more hawkish or more dovish, that may cause the market to change direction,” Sarhan said.

A slide in inflation readings in recent months, which remain below the Fed’s 2 percent target rate, have made the markets skeptical about a rate hike by December.

However, recent hawkish comments by New York Fed chief William Dudley advocating for another rate hike this year and strong retail sales data on Tuesday have upped the odds.

Chances of a December hike rose to 49.2 percent, up from 42 percent at the start of the week, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

At 11:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 70.8 points, or 0.32 percent, at 22,069.79, the S&P 500 was up 7.74 points, or 0.31 percent, at 2,472.35.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 24.70 points, or 0.39 percent, at 6,357.71.

Data showed that U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly fell in July as the construction of single- and multi-family homes declined.

The Commerce Department said housing starts declined 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units.

Among stocks, Urban Outfitters rose 19.44 percent after the apparel retailer reported quarterly profit and sales that beat estimates, leading to multiple price target raises.

Amazon was down 0.39 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the retail giant was doing “great damage” to tax paying retailers.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,881 to 825. On the Nasdaq, 1,808 issues rose and 852 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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