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Communication services stocks push Wall Street higher

Communication services stocks push Wall Street higher

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday, helped by high-flying shares of Alphabet and Netflix, as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve's confidence in the strength of the economy after it raised rates for the third time this year.

Ten out of 11 sectors rose, with the S&P 500 communication services index, recently renamed and reconstituted with Facebook , Google-parent Alphabet , Netflix and other Internet and media stocks, jumping 1.15 percent.

Alphabet added 1.72 percent and Netflix climbed 0.85 percent, both helping lift the S&P 500.

As well as raising interest rates on Wednesday, the Fed left its monetary policy outlook for the coming years largely unchanged. Stocks closed lower after the rate hike, but on Thursday, some investors refocused on the central bank's confidence in the economy's growth.

"The Fed's statement is essentially a green light for the economy. It's a confirmation that the U.S. economy is the best game in town for global investors," said Jeffrey Kravetz, regional investment director at the Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank.

Adding to feel-good sentiment was data showing economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at its fastest pace in nearly four years as previously estimated.

Apple rose 2.27 percent after JPMorgan started coverage of the stock with an "overweight" rating, citing the iPhone maker's quicker-than-expected move to a services business.

Amazon.com's gain followed upbeat comments from brokerage Stifel about the company's retail, cloud, and advertising businesses. The online retailer is set to open a brick-and-mortar store in New York City.

Starting on Monday, the telecommunications sector was renamed "communication services" and reconstituted with major internet and media companies alongside AT&T and other telecoms. So far this week, the S&P 500 communication services index has gained 1.6 percent, more than any other sector index.

At 2:16 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.42 percent at 26,496.59 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> had gained 0.50 percent to 2,920.45.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.85 percent to 8,058.35.

Accenture fell 1.39 percent after the consulting and outsourcing services company's full-year profit fell short of analysts' estimates.

Cruise operator Carnival Corp tumbled 5.31 percent after its fourth-quarter forecast missed estimates.

Conagra Brands slumped 7.9 percent after the packaged food company posted quarterly revenue that missed analysts' estimates.

That weighed on rivals, with Kellogg , JM Smucker and Campbell Soup shedding more than 2 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.47-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 50 new highs and 52 new lows.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco, additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Sep 28, 2018 01:05 AM

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