November 20, 2015 / 3:06 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Indexes higher, set for best week since October

* Nike jumps on buyback; biggest boost to Dow, S&P

* Abercrombie & Fitch surges after results

* Autodesk down after third-qtr loss

* Indexes up: Dow 0.69 pct, S&P 0.55 pct, Nasdaq 0.50 pct (Updates to open)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were higher on Friday, led by Dow component Nike, setting them on track for their best weekly performance since October.

Nike’s shares jumped 4.8 percent to $131.78 after the company announced a $12 billion share buyback and a 2-for-1 share split.

The stock provided the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P 500, and helped lifted the S&P consumer discretionary index by about 1 percent.

Earlier this week, minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s October meeting hardened expectations of a December rate hike but showed policymakers were cautious on further hikes.

“Considering the major indices are back to near their 2015 highs and next week is a shortened holiday week with low volume, people who want to take money off the table will likely take this opportunity to do so,” said Phil Davis, chief executive of trading advisory website

Davis noted that Friday was an options expiration day, which tends to make the market more volatile.

At 9:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 121.83 points, or 0.69 percent, at 17,854.58, the S&P 500 was up 11.54 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,092.78 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 25.14 points, or 0.5 percent, at 5,098.78.

Among the major S&P sectors, only energy was lower, with a 0.12 percent drop.

Abercrombie & Fitch surged 20.6 percent to $23.40 after its quarterly profit more than doubled and same-store sales fell less than expected.

Foot Locker rose 7.5 percent to $66.15 and Ross Stores rose 9 percent to $50.30 after results.

Gap rose 4.6 percent to $26.24 despite cutting its profit forecast for the year.

Intuit was up 9.1 percent at $106.25 after the Tax-preparation software maker forecast full-year profit above estimates.

Autodesk fell 4 percent to $59.90 after it posted a third-quarter loss.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and New York Fed President William Dudley are slated to speak at separate events.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,048 to 637. On the Nasdaq, 1,665 issues rose and 577 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 22 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 30 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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