* GM, Ford up after strong Sept. auto sales
* Tech stocks extend rally
* Indexes up : Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.05 pct (Adds analyst comment, updates prices)
By Ankur Banerjee and Gayathree Ganesan
Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes touched new record highs on Tuesday, boosted by a rally in tech stocks and gains in Ford Motor and General Motors after strong September vehicle sales.
Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by technology and consumer discretionary sectors.
Major automakers posted higher U.S. new vehicle sales in September, as consumers in hurricane-hit parts of the country rushed to replace flood-damaged cars.
General Motors’ shares rose 3.7 percent to a record high of $43.70, while Ford’s stock was up 2.3 percent at $12.37.
Technology stocks have rebounded from a sharp selling seen last week, with Apple and Intel supporting Tuesday’s gains. The sector has been the biggest gainer year-to-date, up 26 percent so far.
“The tech stocks had it rough about 10 days ... I think they experienced profit taking where they were used as an ATM for purchases,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
“I think those days have run their course and they’re starting to get some sponsorship again.”
Investors are also looking at upcoming quarterly earnings from big names to help justify the lofty market valuations.
Third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters research, after rising a better-than-expected 12.3 percent in the second quarter.
The indexes have been scaling record highs and on Monday found support from factory data that pointed to underlying strength in the U.S. economy.
The encouraging data helped world shares touch their latest record highs on Tuesday, while lifting the dollar to its loftiest in 1-1/2 months.
“The first two days of October seem to be a continuation of what happened in the last two weeks of September ... we’re gradually grinding higher in the month of October,” said Hogan.
At 12:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 67.17 points, or 0.3 percent, at 22,624.77, the S&P 500 was up 2.45 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,531.57.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 7.64 points, or 0.12 percent, at 6,524.36.
Tesla Inc was down 2 percent after the luxury electric vehicle maker said its planned ramp-up for the new Model 3 mass-market sedan faced production bottlenecks.
Lennar Corp’s shares rose about 3 percent following a higher-than-expected quarterly profit from the No.2 U.S. homebuilder.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,425 to 1,375. On the Nasdaq, 1,402 issues fell and 1,398 advanced. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)