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Wall Street rises on U.S.-EU trade deal hopes, tech gains

 Wall Street rises on U.S.-EU trade deal hopes, tech gains

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes rose on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped to reach a trade deal with Europe as he met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the Dow all hit session highs as both Trump and Juncker struck a conciliatory tone on trade in their statements to reporters.

The Dow, which had been weighed by Boeing Inc's report of higher costs for its aerial refuelling tanker programme, reversed its earlier downward course. Boeing shares pared losses and were last down 1.9 percent.

The S&P and the Nasdaq were boosted by gains in the technology sector. Shares of Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp hit record highs earlier in Wednesday's session. Facebook shares were last up 1.4 percent, and Microsoft shares were trading up 2.1 percent.

Visa Inc shares also rose 1.1 percent. Both Facebook and Visa are scheduled to report results after the bell.

Investors noted that strong corporate earnings have helped prop up U.S. stocks despite ongoing concerns about tariffs raising companies' costs and cutting into their profits.

Of the 148 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 85.8 percent have topped analyst expectations. If the beat rate holds, it will be the highest on record, dating back to the first quarter of 1994, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"In a nutshell, the market is continuing to be dominated by trade and earnings," said Leo Grohowski, chief investment officer of BNY Mellon Wealth Management in New York. "Those are the two big issues."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 11.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to 25,253.16, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 12.46 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,832.86 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 58.36 points, or 0.74 percent, to 7,899.13.

Coca-Cola Co shares rose 1.8 percent after the beverage company's quarterly sales and profit beat estimates.

Shares of HCA Healthcare Inc jumped 9.1 percent after the hospital operator raised its full-year earnings forecast.

However, General Motors Co shares fell 5.8 percent after the automaker cut its 2018 profit forecast, citing rising steel and aluminium costs due to tariffs. Ford Motor Co shares dipped 2.0 percent ahead of its results, scheduled to be announced after the bell.

Shares of AT&T Inc also dropped 4.6 percent, weighing the most on the S&P, after the wireless carrier's quarterly revenue missed estimates.

NXP Semiconductors NV shares slipped 2.7 percent as the chipmaker awaits Chinese approval for its acquisition by Qualcomm Inc ahead of a deadline later in the day. Shares of Qualcomm, which is scheduled to report its quarterly results after the bell, dipped 0.1 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.32-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.15-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 75 new lows.

(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)

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

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Updated Date: Jul 26, 2018 02:05:07 IST