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US STOCKS-S&P 500 rises above record closing high on U.S.-China trade report

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* S&P hovers near all-time high

* Intel jumps after boosting revenue forecast

* Amazon drops on weak holiday-quarter forecast

* Charter Communications gains on upbeat quarterly results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.73%, S&P 0.52%, Nasdaq 0.72% (Updates market action)

Oct 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 on Friday rose above its record closing high after a report that the United States and China were close to finalizing parts of a trade pact.

The benchmark index closed at 3,025.86 points after touching a record high of 3,027.98 on July 26. On Friday, the index touched a high of 3,027.39.

Top negotiators from the two countries “made headway on specific issues” related to trade on a phone call, according to CNBC. Reuters reported earlier that discussions would include China’s plans to buy more U.S. farm products and the cancellation of some U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

The comments rounded off a strong week for equity markets, which were boosted by a clutch of better-than-expected third-quarter earnings reports.

The S&P 500 was set for its best week in seven, while the Nasdaq eyed its biggest percentage gain in eight weeks.

Intel Corp jumped 8% and was on course for its best day since January 2018 after issuing an upbeat forecast, helping lift the Philadelphia Semiconductor index and the S&P 500 information technology sector.

The chipmaker was also the biggest boost to all three major U.S. indexes.

But shares of Inc dropped 1.3% after the e-commerce giant forecast revenue and profit for the crucial holiday quarter below estimates, citing fierce competition.

The wider consumer discretionary sector fell 0.3% and was one of the biggest decliners among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors.

“We’ve had some misses ... mostly due to trade war concerns, but overall, it looks like we’re headed for a fairly good earnings season,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Investors are also counting on the Federal Reserve to lower borrowing costs for the third time this year at its policy meeting next week after a clutch of poor economic data earlier in October.

At 11:50 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 194.92 points, or 0.73%, at 27,000.45, the S&P 500 was up 15.72 points, or 0.52%, at 3,026.01 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 59.09 points, or 0.72%, at 8,244.89.

Boeing Co dropped 1.4% after Indonesian authorities looking into the Lion Air crash said the world’s largest planemaker failed to grasp risks in the design of cockpit software on its 737 MAX jet.

Apparel maker VF Corp fell 6.7% after reporting lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue, hurt by sluggish demand for its North Face and Vans brands.

Shares of Charter Communications Inc gained 7.6% after the cable operator posted better-than-expected quarterly results as it attracted more customers for its broadband services, offsetting a drop in pay TV subscribers.

The next round of earnings due next week includes Apple Inc , Alphabet Inc, Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.74-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 38 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 71 new highs and 48 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva)