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Tech leads Wall Street rally, S&P and Nasdaq hit new highs

Tech leads Wall Street rally, S&P and Nasdaq hit new highs

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs for the fourth straight session on Wednesday (Aug 29) in a rally led by technology companies as investor sentiment was stoked by optimism over ongoing trade negotiations.

Apple Inc led the technology sector's advance as the iPhone maker's shares hit an all-time high. The sector pushed all three major US indexes higher.

The FAANG group of momentum stocks also got a boost from Morgan Stanley's price target increases for Amazon.com and Alphabet Inc. The remaining FAANG stocks, Facebook Inc and Netflix Inc were down slightly.

Canada appeared to be taking a more conciliatory approach toward its ongoing talks with the United States to salvage the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), days after Washington struck a deal with Mexico.

"The market continues to be very happy with the speed with which some of these trade deals are coming together," said Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. "As the Trump administration is able to make more immediate progress, the market will look upon that very favorably."

The Commerce Department released its second reading of second-quarter GDP, showing the US economy grew at an upwardly-revised annual rate of 4.2 per cent in the quarter, its best performance in nearly four years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.55 points (0.23 per cent) to 26,124.57, the S&P 500 gained 16.52 points (0.57 per cent) to 2,914.04 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.65 points (0.99 per cent) to 8,109.69.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, seven were in positive territory, with the largest percentage gains seen in the consumer discretionary and technology sectors.

Consumer discretionary stocks were led higher by Amazon.com's 3.0 per cent increase.

Restaurant operator Yum China Holdings Inc extended its rally, and was up 5.2 per cent after rejecting a US$17.6 billion buy-out bid from a Chinese consortium.

Among losers, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc fell 1.6 per cent following an underwhelming earnings report, a drop in same-store sales driven by tighter gun controls and a decline in Under Armour sales. Sportswear company Under Armour Inc stock slid by 1.1 per cent.

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc dropped 7.0 per cent after posting disappointing second quarter results and providing lackluster guidance.

Other specialty apparel retailers were also down.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.68-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 58 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 101 new highs and 20 new lows.

Source: Reuters/de

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