(Updates with afternoon trade, comment from investor)
* Stronger-than-expected Aug CPI boosts rate hike odds
* Energy stocks gain as U.S. crude tops $50 on IEA forecast
* Equifax tumbles as FTC starts probe into data breach
* Dow +0.22 pct, S&P 500 -0.06 pct, Nasdaq -0.34 pct
By Noel Randewich
Sept 14 (Reuters) - Rising shares of Boeing pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average up to a record high on Thursday, while the S&P 500 declined marginally as investors saw higher-than-expected inflation increasing the chances of an interest rate hike.
The Dow was on track for its third consecutive all-time high close as Boeing rose 1.34 percent after Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the aerospace and defense stock.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved lower after a Labor Department report showed consumer prices rose more than expected in August, boosting the odds of another interest rate hike this year.
The consumer price index’s (CPI) 0.4-percent gain last month was its biggest in seven months and is the last major economic data to be released ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 19-20 policy meeting.
“I don’t think the market was expecting that kind of a strength in terms of inflation,” said Victor Jones, director of trading at TD Ameritrade.
“What people want is know is whether or not Yellen is going to talk about the lack of inflation as transitory, or whether it is continuing to concern them.”
After the data, the odds of a hike in December rose above 50 percent for the first time since July, from 41.3 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
At 2:47 pm ET, the Dow was up 0.22 percent at 22,206.04 points, while the S&P 500 had lost 0.06 percent to 2,496.79.
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.34 percent to 6,438.34.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, led by an 0.9 percent increase in utilities.
The energy index climbed 0.33 percent after U.S. crude hit $50 per barrel for the first time since Aug. 10 on a bullish demand forecast by the International Energy Agency.
Helped by strong corporate earnings reports and optimism that President Donald Trump will cut business taxes, the Dow has gained 12 percent this year.
The S&P 500, up 11 percent in 2017, is trading at 17.6 times expected earnings, expensive compared with its 10-year average of 14.3, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
“I‘m not taking money out of stocks, but when new cash comes in, I‘m adding to our fixed income, whether that’s preferred shares, corporate bonds or mortgage-backed securities,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa.
The consumer discretionary index fell 0.56 percent, pulled down by a 0.83-percent decline in Amazon.com and a 1.1-percent dip in Walt Disney.
Equifax fell 2.4 percent after the Federal Trade Commission opened a probe into the company’s massive data breach.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.06-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.16-to-1 ratio favored decliners. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)