US STOCKS-Technology rally helps Wall Street push higher

New York (Reuters) – Technology stocks led the market higher on Monday as Apple (AAPL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) boosted the sector after the iPhone maker kicked off its annual developers conference and the Windows software maker announced an acquisition.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Apple unveiled its latest operating system iOS 12 at the conference and even after paring some gains in the afternoon, for a 0.8 percent gain, it still provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 .SPX and helped take the Nasdaq close to its intraday record reached in mid-March.

The technology sector boost added to continued investor optimism after Friday’s better-than expected jobs data, according to Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“On Fridays in the summer, there’s not a lot of people behind the desk. These are investors that may not have been around to participate at the end of a holiday week,” said Forrest.

Forrest also cited Apple’s developer conference and Microsoft’s $7.5 billion deal to buy privately held coding website GitHub Inc, which sent its shares up 0.6 percent to a record high.

“Microsoft started its life as a company that provided developer tools. This is the next generation of developer tools. It’s good they were able to buy it,” she said.

At 2:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 162.38 points, or 0.66 percent, to 24,797.59, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 11.14 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,745.76 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 43.22 points, or 0.57 percent, to 7,597.55.

The S&P technology index .SPLRCT was up 0.9 percent. Seven of the 11 main S&P indexes were trading higher.

However the Nasdaq

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