Tech stocks lift Wall Street amid trade hopes

By Shreyashi Sanyal (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday as technology shares were boosted by signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China

Reuters February 23, 2019 00:06:22 IST
Tech stocks lift Wall Street amid trade hopes

Tech stocks lift Wall Street amid trade hopes

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday as technology shares were boosted by signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

Top trade negotiators from the two countries haggled over the details of a set of agreements aimed at ending their trade war, just one week before a Washington-imposed deadline for a deal expires and triggers higher U.S. tariffs.

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are set to meet at the Oval Office later in the day.

Stocks have climbed this week on hopes of a trade deal, but a batch of weak data on Thursday pointed to growing headwinds to the U.S. economy, causing the S&P 500 to break its three-day rally.

"The markets are moving higher (on trade) and given yesterday was a weak day, there's more room to recover," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

"My expectation is that we will eventually get a new trade agreement with China, that's probably several weeks, if not months away."

Technology stocks jumped 1.27 percent, leading gains among the 11 major S&P sectors and putting the benchmark on track for four weeks of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite were on course to post nine straight weeks of gains.

Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and chipmakers led the rally in the tech sector. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index gained 1.09 percent, led by Intel Corp's 2.8 percent rise after Morgan Stanley lifted its rating to "overweight".

At 11:31 a.m. ET the Dow was up 186.08 points, or 0.72 percent, at 26,036.71. The S&P 500 was up 17.15 points, or 0.62 percent, at 2,792.03 and the Nasdaq was up 62.09 points, or 0.83 percent, at 7,521.80.

Kraft Heinz Co tumbled 27.8 percent, weighing the most on the S&P 500 index, along with a 1.65 percent fall in Class B shares of the company's controlling stakeholder, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The packaged food company posted a quarterly loss, disclosed an SEC probe and wrote down the value of its iconic Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands.

The S&P consumer staples sector slipped 0.39 percent, followed by a 0.10 percent drop in financials.

Kraft Heinz rivals General Mills, Conagra Brands and Kellogg Co fell between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent.

Trade-sensitive industrials sector climbed 0.52 percent, with bellwether Boeing Co up 1.5 percent.

Newmont Mining Corp rose 5.7 percent after Canada's Barrick Gold Corp confirmed that it was considering an all-stock bid for the company.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.49-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 58 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 87 new highs and 17 new lows.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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

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