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Company News

US STOCKS-Wall Street closes higher as tech rally squashes virus fears

* U.S. coronavirus cases top 7 million

* Boeing gains on potential 737 MAX flights

* Costco Wholesale drops on high COVID-19 costs

* Cruise operators jump after Barclays upgrade (Updates to market close at 4 p.m.)

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Technology stocks again rode to Wall Street’s rescue on Friday, lifting the main indexes more than 1%, but the Dow and the S&P 500 still posted their longest weekly losing streaks in a year as fears of a slowing economy sparked an almost month-long rout.

Investors started buying beaten-down shares after the Nasdaq entered corrective territory last week and the S&P 500 briefly broke that barrier earlier this week.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 notched their fourth straight weekly declines, the longest weekly losing streak since August 2019. The Nasdaq closed higher for the week after falling the previous three.

Investors are looking at the long term and believe technology remains the investment of choice, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

“It’s dip buying,” Moya said. “When you look at the correction that we’ve seen in these tech giants, people are still going to want to hold U.S. equities. The reality is that 2021 is going to be a much higher stock market and you’re probably going to see tech still lead the way.”

Shares of tech mega-caps Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc led the way, followed by Facebook Inc and Nvidia Corp, rising at least 2.2%.

The information technology index jumped as investors ditched value-linked stocks on signs of a slowdown in the broader economic recovery. Growth-oriented shares gained at a rate almost twice that of value stocks.

Volatility has also shot up as investors look for clarity on whether Congress will approve more stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, which now appears unlikely.

“You’ve had this nice recovery through the summer, and coming into the fall the economy is just a little bit more vulnerable, particularly with a lot of the stimulus that we had starting to taper off now,” said Mike Dowdall, portfolio manager at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 360.42 points, or 1.34%, to 27,175.86, the S&P 500 gained 51.92 points, or 1.60%, to 3,298.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 241.30 points, or 2.26%, to 10,913.56.

The S&P industrials sector rose as data showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in August, while a 1.1% slide in energy stocks put them on course for one of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in March.

Cruise liners Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corp jumped after Barclays upgraded their shares to “overweight.”

Shares of Boeing Co led the Dow higher after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said its chief will conduct an evaluation flight of the grounded 737 MAX and European safety regulators indicated a potential resumption of flights by year end.

Costco Wholesale Corp fell as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for a second straight quarter.

Novavax Inc jumped after the drugmaker launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 7 million, as Midwest states reported spikes in COVID-19 infections in September, according to a Reuters tally. (Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York; Additional reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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