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US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq hit record on gains in tech, financials
September 29, 2017 / 5:14 PM / 19 days ago

US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq hit record on gains in tech, financials

* S&P, Dow on track to post gains for 8 straight qtrs

* Tyson Foods biggest S&P gainer after upbeat outlook

* Indexes: Dow down 0.05 pct, S&P up 0.28 pct, Nasdaq up 0.59 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar

Sept 29 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record levels on Friday, the last trading day of the quarter, helped by gains in technology and financial stocks.

Reports of President Donald Trump’s meeting with former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh to discuss his potential nomination as Fed chairman was seen as a trigger for the rise in financial shares.

“He’s definitely more hawkish on the spectrum,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.

“He is quite a contrast to Yellen. It does seem he is the front runner even though it’s not a sure thing he will be nominated.”

Rising expectations for another interest rate hike by the year-end and Trump’s tax-cut plan have dominated markets for most of the week and have put the dollar on track for its biggest weekly rise in 2017.

Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August but the report did little to change expectations that the central bank would raise interest rates again in December.

Another report showed the Chicago purchasing management index, which gauges factory activity, came in better than expected for September.

“We had a lot of economic data points, but not a lot of catalysts for investors in one direction or another,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

“The inflation data has generally been underwhelming, but the central bank has maintained their staunch position regarding the balance sheet runoff and rate increases, so the market has adjusted its expectation.”

At 12:34 p.m. ET (1634 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 11.36 points, or 0.05 percent, at 22,369.84, the S&P 500 was up 7.06 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,517.12 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 38.35 points, or 0.59 percent, at 6,491.80.

The S&P and the Dow were set to record eight straight quarters of gains, while the Nasdaq was on track for five.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.67 percent rise in the technology sector.

Facebook’s 1.22 percent gain was the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and the S&P. The financial index rose 0.28 percent, helped by gains in Wells Fargo.

Meat processor Tyson Foods jumped about 8 percent after the company raised its full-year profit forecast. The stock was the biggest gainer on the S&P .

Gainers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,669 to 1,111. On the Nasdaq, 1,764 shares rose and 1,051 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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