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US STOCKS-Tech stocks power Wall St indexes to fresh record-highs
October 5, 2017 / 3:20 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Tech stocks power Wall St indexes to fresh record-highs

* Netflix up 3 pct after raising monthly subscription fees

* Biogen up 3 pct after Morgan Stanley upgrades to “buy”

* Indexes higher: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.25 pct (Adds comments from analyst, updates prices)

By Ankur Banerjee and Gayathree Ganesan

Oct 5 (Reuters) - The three main U.S. indexes climbed to fresh record-highs for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, fueled by gains in technology stocks including Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon.com.

Nine of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by the information technology sector. Tech stocks, which have powered much of the recent rally, have risen about 26 percent this year.

“Investors are planning years in the future and so I don’t think valuation (of tech stocks) really matters to the people who are buying them as a momentum sort of investing play,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

Data on Thursday pointed to underlying strength in the economy despite weather-related disruptions, with the trade deficit narrowing in August and jobless claims falling more than expected last week.

New orders for goods made in the United States rose in August and orders for core capital goods were stronger than the previous figures.

“We are continuing to get good economic news globally, specifically out of the U.S.,” Forrest said. “It looks like the U.S. economy continues to expand and that is what is driving today.”

Focus will now shift to the more comprehensive monthly jobs report, which is due on Friday.

Investors are also gearing up for the upcoming third-quarter corporate earnings season.

Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 5.5 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data. That would be down from double-digit growth in the first two quarters of this year.

The benchmark S&P 500 is likely to finish this year at 2,525, about 13 percent higher than where it was at the end of 2016, based on the median forecast of 47 strategists polled by Reuters.

At 10:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 32.6 points, or 0.14 percent, at 22,694.24, the S&P 500 was up 5.72 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,543.46.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 16.46 points, or 0.25 percent, at 6,551.09.

Shares of Netflix were up 4.3 percent after the company raised the monthly subscription fees for two of its three main U.S. plans by $1 and $2, respectively.

Constellation Brands was up 5 percent after the brewer beat Wall Street’s profit estimates for the ninth straight quarter.

Microsoft was up 0.4 percent after Canaccord Genuity raised its rating on the stock to “buy”.

Biogen was up 4.6 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the stock to “overweight”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,788 to 898. On the Nasdaq, 1,637 issues rose and 1,043 fell. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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