February 13, 2018 / 8:01 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St advances as investors eye upcoming inflation reading

* U.S. consumer prices and retail sales data due Wednesday

* Market rout not impacting economic outlook - Fed’s Mester

* Under Armour climbs after posting upbeat revenue

* Indexes rise: Dow 0.10 pct, S&P 0.13 pct, Nasdaq 0.33 pct (Updates with market recovery, afternoon trade)

By Noel Randewich

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street climbed on Tuesday for a third straight session, buoyed by Amazon.com and Apple, while investors focused on upcoming inflation data that could upset the market’s fragile recovery.

Amazon.com rose 1.9 percent while Apple added 0.73 percent, both helping the S&P 500 shake off a negative open to the session and climb 0.13 percent in afternoon trade.

Investors said upcoming data on U.S. consumer prices and retail sales due out on Wednesday would be key to where stocks move in the short term. Inflation and interest-rate fears sparked a stock market rout after U.S. jobs data on Feb. 2.

Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said the market’s mid-day recovery was a good sign, but that it was too soon to predict the market’s recovery.

“We think we’re going to be volatile for a few more trading days at least, as the market sorts out what’s really been going on,” Haworth said.

Among the biggest movers was sportswear retailer Under Armour, up more than 17 percent on strong quarterly sales, and AmerisourceBergen, up 8 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported Walgreens was seeking to buy out the drug distributor.

Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, a voting member in the central bank’s rate-setting committee this year, said the recent stock market sell-off and jump in volatility will not damage the economy’s overall strong prospects.

After a wildly volatile week that pushed the market into correction territory, U.S. stocks gained roughly 3 percent over Friday and Monday, their best two-day gain since June 2016.

At 2:45 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 percent at 24,625.71 points, while the S&P 500 had gained 3.7 points to 2,660.54.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.33 percent to 7,004.71.

Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes rose, led by consumer staples, up 0.45 percent.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields dipped to 2.842 percent, shy of a four-year peak of 2.9020 percent hit on Monday.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a widely-followed measure of short-term stock volatility and seen as a contributing factor itself to the selloff, was last at 25.31 points, half the 50-point mark it touched last week.

Wall Street’s recent pullback wiped out all of January’s gains for the benchmark S&P 500, which is now down about 0.5 percent for the year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.4 percent in 2018.

On a day of heavy trading in healthcare companies, Henry Schein and Patterson Companies fell 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, after news of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint against the dental supply firms.

Investors in those and other healthcare distributors are weighing the possible ramifications of the AmerisourceBergen deal and a report of Amazon’s push into the space.

Of the 70 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings, nearly 78 percent of them topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is above the 72 percent average beat-rate in the past four quarters.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.14-to-1 ratio favored advancers. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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