By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) - The Dow Industrial Average was the last among Wall Street's main indexes to regain record territory on Thursday, as investor concerns over U.S.-China trade spat cleared away and focus shifted to the strength of the economy.
The blue-chip index, which had lagged the Nasdaq and the S&P in its recovery, jumped 1 percent to surpass the level touched on January 26.
While trade-sensitive industrial stocks such as Boeing and Caterpillar powered the Dow's rally, technology stocks lifted the S&P 500 to a fresh record.
Gains in chipmakers and a 1.1 percent rise in Apple, which has drawn heart from the exclusion of some products from the U.S. tariffs on Monday, boosted a 1.2 percent in the tech sector.
"The new record territories for the Dow and the S&P are fueled by lesser trade worries and just general enthusiasm about the economy," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
At 12:43 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 252.90 points, or 0.96 percent, at 26,658.66, the S&P 500 was up 21.86 points, or 0.75 percent, at 2,929.81 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 73.02 points, or 0.92 percent, at 8,023.06.
Chipmakers Intel rose 2.0 percent and Micron 3.5 percent after Bloomberg reported that Samsung Electronics was considering to lower memory chip growth output next year to keep supplies tight in anticipation of a slowdown in demand.
The move could either help maintain or push chip prices up, although it could also be another signal of weakening momentum in a sector which saw its first blips in years in the first half.
"Many investors are currently looking for companies with more pricing power and is certainly a theme for semiconductors to move higher on," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index gained 1.2 percent.
The dollar fell 2.0 percent against a basket of major currencies and held over 10 week lows. A weaker dollar tends to benefit large U.S. multinational companies.
"Less anxiety on the China trade front and a fall in the dollar is helping rally and I'd say we're back in the Goldilocks scenario again," said Cliff Hodge, director of investments at Cornerstone Wealth in Charlotte North Carolina.
Among other stock moves, Under Armour rose 5.6 percent, the most on the S&P, after the sportswear maker said it would cut about 400 jobs as part of efforts to cut costs to compete with Nike and Germany's Adidas in North America.
General Electric fell 2.9 percent after the company flagged issues with its new H-class gas turbine.
The top decliner on the S&P was Red Hat, which lost 6.5 percent after the Linux operating system distributor's quarterly revenue missed estimates and forecast current-quarter results below expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.72-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 39 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 31 new lows.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)
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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2018 00:05:32 IST