Wall Street gains with tech; S&P 500 posts best week since November

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

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Friday, led by technology companies, as a report on progress in U.S.-China trade talks lifted sentiment, pushing the to its best week since November.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Washington and Beijing were making substantive progress on trade talks, providing relief after news that a summit to seal a deal between the two sides would not happen at March-end.

Chipmakers, which tend to derive a large portion of their revenue from China, rose. The Philadelphia SE chip index climbed 2.9 percent while the S&P 500 technology index rose 1.2 percent.

Despite the mixed news recently on the trade front, many investors expect a deal will eventually happen, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. In addition, he said, “Investors are warming up to the idea that central banks have taken a huge step backward in terms of tightening.”

U.S. 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.

That followed a batch of weak data this week that lent support to the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on future interest rate hikes, which has helped to lift stocks this year.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co closed up 1.5 percent, lifting the Dow, after the world’s largest planemaker said a software upgrade for the 737 MAX aircraft will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Even so, Boeing’s shares for the week lost 10.3 percent. The company’s 737 MAX jets were grounded globally following a fatal crash involving one of its planes in Ethiopia on Sunday.

The rose 138.93 points, or 0.54 percent, to 25,848.87, the S&P

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