By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Wall Street extended its gains in thin trading on Friday, with the three main indexes hitting record intraday highs, helped by gains in consumer staples and technology stocks.The U.S. stock market will close at 1:00 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) on the occasion of Black Friday.The S&P 500 consumer staples sector gave the broader index its biggest boost, rising 0.75 percent, led by gains in Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola.Since the U.S. election, the three main U.S. indexes have hit all-time highs and closed at record levels multiple times in the past few days.However, the defensive consumer staples and utilities sectors have been the worst performers in that period."People are looking for value in the market. While many stocks have risen quite brusquely, investors are looking for some forgotten names in the rally," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
"These orphaned stocks are being hunted today." At 12:27 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 53.62 points, or 0.28 percent, at 19,136.8.The S&P 500 was up 5.97 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,210.69.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 12.02 points, or 0.22 percent, at 5,392.70.Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher, led by a 1.23 percent rise in utilities.The technology sector was up 0.26 percent, led by Cisco and Apple.
The energy sector, fell 0.6 percent, pulled down by a 2.7 percent drop in oil prices amid uncertainty that the OPEC would arrive at a decision to cut production during a meeting next week. [O/R]Johnson & Johnson inched up 0.8 percent rise after the company confirmed media reports that it was in talks to acquire Swiss biotechnology company Actelion.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,725 to 1,101. On the Nasdaq, 1,573 issues rose and 1,082 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 44 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 240 new highs and 11 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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