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Tech stocks lift S&P 500, Nasdaq to record highs; Trump speech awaited

Hopes of a resolution to the 16-month long tariff war and a strong corporate earnings season have propelled Wall Street this month.

Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 09.18 PM IST
The S&P 500 opened higher by 2.27 points, or 0.07%, at 3,089.28.
A rise in technology stocks drove the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to new record highs on Tuesday, while investors awaited a speech by President Donald Trump for clarity on U.S.-China trade relations.

Hopes of a resolution to the 16-month long tariff war and a strong corporate earnings season have propelled Wall Street this month.

Trump is scheduled to discuss the country's trade policy at the Economic Club of New York later on Tuesday where investors will look for signs of concrete progress in a trade truce between Washington and Beijing.

"There is some optimism that Trump will tell people something they like to hear, whether it's the civics or a general delay in tariffs," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.

"The focus is very much on those expectations on 'if not good news then at least the avoidance of bad news' from Trump."

Gains on Tuesday were broad based, with all 11 major S&P 500 sectors trading higher. The technology sector rose 0.5% and was the biggest boost to the benchmark index, while the Philadelphia chip index gained 0.8%.

The third-quarter corporate earnings season has also been largely better than expected. About three quarters of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have topped analysts' profit expectations, according to Refinitiv data.

Also on the list is the next round of economic data, including October retail sales and industrial production, as well as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the domestic economic outlook.

At 10:11 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.86 points, or 0.17%, at 27,737.35, while the S&P 500 was up 11.26 points, or 0.36%, at 3,098.27. The Nasdaq Composite was up 30.97 points, or 0.37%, at 8,495.25.

Walt Disney Co rose 1.4% as the company launched its widely awaited streaming service, Disney+, on Tuesday.

D.R. Horton Inc, the No.1 U.S. homebuilder, gained 3.2% after topping fourth-quarter profit expectations and forecasting 2020 home sales above analysts' estimates.

CBS Corp dropped 3.8% after the media company missed quarterly revenue estimates. Shares of Viacom Inc, which is merging with CBS, were also down nearly 4%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.65-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 39 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Maju Samuel)
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