Wall Street jumps, with tech leading the advance

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, led by a more than 2% gain in technology shares, while better-than-expected economic data in the United States and China helped to offset worries about the trade war.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The S&P 500 technology sector, which was at the heart of the recent selloff, provided the biggest boost to the benchmark S&P 500 index, which was on course for its third day of gains.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc gained 14.7% after the chipmaker launched its second generation of processor chip and said that it had landed Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc as customers.

Symantec Corp jumped 11.6% after sources said chipmaker Broadcom Inc was in advanced talks to buy the cybersecurity company’s enterprise business.

“The overnight action was positive. That, along with the bounceback yesterday, gave us a nice tailwind coming into the market today, both for high-frequency traders who were buying the trend and also for bargain hunters who had seen stocks that were on the watchlist come down to a level that looked attractive,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

“So we’ve seen a lot of the tech names pop after they got hammered. There’s money coming back into those because investors have decided it created an opportunity.”

U.S. data pointed to a robust labor market as the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, allaying some worries about a recession and helping U.S. Treasury yields rise.

That followed better-than-expected export numbers out of China and some improvement for the country’s yuan currency, whose slide over the weekend spurred Wall Street’s worst day so far this year on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 285.32 points, or 1.1%, to 26,292.39, the S&P 500 gained 45.67 points, or 1.58%, to 2,929.65 and the Nasdaq Composite added 154.78 points, or 1.97%, to 8,017.61.

On the down side, Kraft Heinz sank after it pulled its full-year forecast and wrote down the value of several business units by over $1 billion, capping a rough few months for the company.

Lyft Inc advanced 4.1% after the ride-hailing service raised its annual outlook and hinted at the end of its price war with Uber Technologies Inc. Uber, due to report after the bell and a high-profile loser since its market launch this year, rose 7.5%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.32-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.52-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 77 new highs and 84 new lows.

Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Arun Koyyur and David Gregorio

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