* U.S. CPI falls in Sept; weekly jobless claims down
* Citi rises after results
* Nike up after strong outlook
* Netflix down after weak Q3 results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.26 pct, S&P 0.34 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to snap a two-day losing streak on Thursday after Citigroup led a recovery in financial stocks and investors absorbed mixed economic data.
As the earnings season gathers steam, investors will be scrutinizing quarterly results and forecasts for any signs of impact from a slowing global economy.
U.S. consumer prices declined the most in eight months as gasoline costs fell in September, but a rise in core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, suggested inflation was starting to firm.
Unemployment benefit claims, however, fell in the last week, pointing to a strong labor market.
The conflicting data, coming on the back of weak retail sales numbers, added to the uncertainty over the timing of an interest rate increase as the Federal Reserve waits for signs of stabilizing global economy.
At 12:11 p.m. ET (1611 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 43.82 points, or 0.26 percent, at 16,968.57, the S&P 500 was up 6.76 points, or 0.34 percent, at 2,001 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 20.50 points, or 0.43 percent, at 4,803.35.
“The market seems to be reacting more to the results and less to the overall macro picture,” said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer of equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management in San Francisco.
The outlook for corporate earnings show that S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 4 percent fall in third-quarter profit, the biggest decline in six years, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Citigroup rose 3.4 percent to $52.42 after the third biggest U.S. bank’s results beat estimates, while Goldman Sachs was up 1.3 percent at $181.86, despite weak results.
Citi provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the financial sector, which led the gainers among the 10 major S&P sectors with a 1.13 percent rise.
Nike rose 2.2 percent to $128.60 after the world’s largest sportswear maker said it expects revenue growth to be faster over the next five years.
HCA Holdings shares sank 7.4 percent to $70.40 after the country’s largest for-profit hospital operator said its third-quarter profit was likely to miss estimates.
The stock dragged down health insurers UnitedHealth, Aetna and Anthem.
Netflix slid 8.2 percent to $101.22 after the video-streaming service said U.S. subscriber additions came in below expectations for the third quarter. The stock weighed the most on the S&P.
Valeant Pharma’s U.S.-listed shares fell 7.1 percent to $164.76 after the Canadian drugmaker said it had been subpoenaed by U.S. prosecutors over its drug pricing policies.
Schlumberger, Mattel and Advanced Micro Devices report after the close.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,546 to 1,405. On the Nasdaq, 1,613 issues rose and 1,100 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 34 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)