Tech shares, trade optimism push Wall Street higher

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes hit session highs on Friday, in broad based gains led by technology stocks, as sentiment was lifted by an upbeat note in trade talks between the United States and China.

China’s state-run news agency said Washington and Beijing were making further substantive progress on trade talks. The report came as a relief after news that a summit to seal a deal between the two sides will not happen at March-end.

Chipmakers, which get a large portion of their revenue from China, rose, with the Philadelphia SE chip index up 2.87 percent, while the broader technology sector rose 1.61 percent.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:) Inc jumped nearly 8.9 percent and was the biggest boost to the S&P and Nasdaq, after the company’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates.

“Chipmakers are greatly linked to China, so when we have positive news out of semiconductor space it is a reaffirmation that the fundamentals of tech are still strong,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Phoenix.

“We know that trade is a work in progress, but it looks like we’re getting closer to an initial trade agreement and that is helping markets.”

Domestic data showed manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February and factory activity in New York state was weaker than expected this month.

This follows a batch of weak data this week that underscored the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on future interest rate hikes and has helped the rise 3 percent, its biggest weekly gain in more than three months.

The Fed will remain patient for a little longer than thought just last month, waiting until the third quarter before raising

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