March 11, 2019 / 3:29 PM / 12 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St lifted by tech shares, heavyweight Boeing pares losses

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* Apple rises after brokerage upgrades to “buy”

* Tech stocks gain the most among 11 S&P sectors

* Crude prices rise 1 pct, lift energy stocks

* Boeing falls after second 737 MAX crash

* Indexes up: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 1.06 pct, Nasdaq 1.47 pct (Changes comment, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

March 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose after five straight sessions of declines on Monday boosted by technology stocks, however a fall in the shares of the world’s largest planemaker after a second deadly crash in just five months capped gains on the blue-chip Dow.

Boeing Co, the best performing Dow component this year by a wide margin, dropped 6.7 percent after many airlines grounded the company’s new 737 MAX 8 passenger jet.

Helping markets gain ground was the heavyweight Dow component’s stock bouncing off its session lows, while the Dow Jones Airlines index reversed course to trade 0.34 percent higher.

“Today the big news is Boeing and the rest of the market is bouncing off the five straight down days we had last week,” said Keith Gangl, chartered financial analyst and portfolio manager at Gradient Investments in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

“The markets have been really strong this year and people are expecting that to continue throughout 2019.”

The S&P 500 index fell 2.2 percent last week, its biggest decline since Wall Street tumbled at the end of 2018, weighed by fears of a slowing economy after data showed U.S. job growth almost stalled in February, China’s exports fell and as the European Central Bank slashed growth forecasts for the region.

Still, the benchmark index is now about 6 percent away from its record high hit on Sept. 20.

All the major S&P sectors were trading higher, led by gains in the high-growth technology sector, which was up 1.81 percent.

Apple Inc rose 3.1 percent and was the biggest boost to the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the iPhone maker’s shares to “buy” from “neutral”.

Other marquee names also gained — Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc gained between 1.2 percent and 2.3 percent.

Instinet upgraded social media giant Facebook to “buy” from “neutral”.

At 11:10 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 112.41 points, or 0.44 percent, at 25,562.65, the S&P 500 was up 29.18 points, or 1.06 percent, at 2,772.25 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 109.13 points, or 1.47 percent, at 7,517.27.

The energy sector jumped 1.4 percent after crude prices rose as Saudi stood by OPEC-led supply cuts and a report showed a fall in U.S. drilling activity.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp rose about 1.4 percent each.

In other news, President Donald Trump will ask lawmakers to hike spending for the military and the wall he wants to build on the U.S.-Mexico border and slash other programs in his 2020 budget.

The Republican president’s proposal, slated for release at 11:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), is expected to be rejected by Congress.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.81-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.62-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 22 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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