Tech companies lead stock rally

NEW YORK — Technology companies soared Thursday as major U.S. stock indexes recovered the ground they lost a day earlier. The Nasdaq composite closed at another all-time high.

Big names like Apple and Microsoft, and chipmakers, including Intel, all made big gains as investors remain optimistic about the technology sector even though much of the market has been shaken by escalating tensions between the U.S. and its trading partners, especially China.

The S&P 500 index rose 24.27 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,798.29. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 224.44 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,924.89.

The Nasdaq jumped 107.30 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,823.92. Its last record came on June 20.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 6.61 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,690.28.

Banks will begin reporting their second-quarter results this morning. Investors expect another round of strong profit growth for the whole market, but they’re especially optimistic about technology companies. They will announce their earnings later this month.

“Tech has been there for them through all of these ups and downs,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior markets strategist at Voya Investment Management. “They’re a good wingman for investors, and that’s why investors are sticking with them.”

Industrial companies also regained much of the ground they lost Wednesday, but energy companies and basic materials makers failed to rally. Defense contractors climbed after President Donald Trump advocated for more defense spending in the U.S. and Europe.

Several European leaders said NATO spending plans haven’t changed.

Software maker CA made the biggest gain in the technology sector after it accepted an offer from Broadcom worth $18.9 billion, or $44.50 per share. Its stock rocketed 18.7 percent to $44.15. Broadcom investors expressed their disapproval of the deal, which involves Broadcom taking on $18 billion in debt. The stock dropped

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