(Reuters) – U.S. indexes gained on Thursday, led by marquee technology stocks hitting record highs and a rebound in industrials, as optimism of a strong earnings season offset fears about a U.S-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 sector rose 1.5 percent, leading the gainers among 11 major S&P sectors. Industrials rose 1.04 percent, while the defensive utilities sector, down 0.16 percent, was the only decliner.
CA Inc jumped 17.9 percent, the most on the S&P 500, after chipmaker Broadcom announced a surprise $18.9 billion deal to buy the business software company. Broadcom slumped 15.0 percent, leading S&P’s losers.
Boeing and Caterpillar, among the hardest hit by the recent trade dispute, rose about 1.4 percent helping send the Dow Jones Industrial Average index higher.
“The fears we had yesterday of a trade war, seem to have temporarily subsided, and investors are pushing trade tariffs aside for the moment as we enter into the earnings season.” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC.
“Ahead of earnings, investors are making bets on what seems to be very reliable and that is technology.”
Industrials led a slide on Wall Street on Wednesday after the U.S. 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.
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 (CPI) 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.
The earnings season kicks off in earnest on Friday, starting with the big Wall Street banks, and overall S&P 500 companies are expected to post second-quarter profit growth of around 21 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The financial sector rose 0.07 percent, ahead of results from JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.
At 12:44 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 190.98 points, or 0.77 percent, at 24,891.43, the S&P 500 was up 18.87 points, or 0.68 percent, at 2,792.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 82.52 points, or 1.07 percent, at 7,799.13.
Netflix fell 2 percent, the only decliner among the so-called ‘FAANG’ stocks, after an UBS downgrade on valuation concerns.
The brokerage said it does not expect to see “the pronounced upside to Q2 results vs. prior quarters” when Netflix reports results on Monday.
Delta Air Lines rose 0.9 percent, and lifted other airline stocks, after the carrier’s quarterly profit topped estimates on higher average fares.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.51-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 33 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 77 new highs and 36 new lows.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta