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Wall St jumps with technology stocks, industrials

Steady economic data bolsters sentiment.

US stocks climbed on Thursday as top technology names hit record highs and industrials rebounded, offsetting worries about a US-China trade war.

Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon hit all-time intraday highs and along with Apple and Alphabet powered the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher.

The technology index rose 1.6%, the day’s best-performing sector, and the group is now leading year-to-date gains among sectors. Industrials rose 1.1%, while the defensive utilities sector, which had outperformed recently, was down 0.1%.

Helping the tech sector is the view that those companies may be more immune to potential trade dispute problems, said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

But also, she said, “The consensus is that negotiations will resume and there will be some sort of agreement between the US and China. It could be naive, but that seems to be an emerging consensus within the market.”

The United States late Tuesday threatened to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China said on Thursday the two countries have not been in touch about restarting talks and while it does not want a trade war, it would fight if necessary.

Boeing and Caterpillar, among the hardest hit by the recent trade dispute, rose, boosting the Dow.

Within tech, CA Inc jumped 18.3% after chipmaker Broadcom announced a surprise $18.9-billion deal to buy the business software company. Broadcom slumped 14%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 204.44 points, or 0.83%, to 24,904.89, the S&P 500 gained 21.84 points, or 0.79%, to 2,795.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 98.70 points, or 1.28%, to 7,815.31.

Weekly jobless claims hit a two-month low last week, the Labor Department said, in a sign that labor market conditions remained robust in early July.

The consumer price index barely rose in June, but the underlying trend continued to point to a steady buildup of inflation pressure that could keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.

Reporting of quarterly earnings picks up steam on Friday with the big Wall Street banks, and overall S&P 500 companies are expected to post second-quarter profit growth of around 21%, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Delta Air Lines rose 1.6%, and lifted other airline stocks, after the carrier’s quarterly profit topped estimates on higher average fares.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.45-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 95 new highs and 41 new lows. 

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