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Tech stocks, upbeat earnings boost Wall Street; Fed in focus



(Reuters) – Wall Street rose on Tuesday, helped by technology stocks, upbeat earnings reports and a rebound in few bellwether stocks, while investors awaited clues on the Federal Reserve’s path for future rate hikes.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Though investors have baked in a fourth rate hike for the year on Wednesday, turbulence in markets and a host of other worries have fueled calls, including from President Donald Trump, for the Fed to pause its tightening cycle or risk harming the U.S. economy.

The S&P financial sector .SPSY rose 1.36 percent with rate-sensitive banks .SPXBK gaining 1.79 percent.

The technology index .SPLRCT gained 1 percent, giving the biggest boost to the market, driven by gains in Apple Inc (AAPL.O). Inc .AMZN.O was the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq and helped lift consumer discretionary stocks .SPLRCD.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the gains coming after the S&P logged losses of roughly 2 percent in each of the previous two sessions. There was also some caution, with traders pointing to the market failing to hold on to early gains on a few occasions this month.

“There is a lack of confidence in any upward move and we need something tangible to bring confidence into the market,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“This has been a rather significant sell-off and before market stabilizes we need something tangible whether it’s a trade-deal or whether it’s something from the Fed.”

At 10:07 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 275.77 points, or 1.17 percent, at 23,868.75, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 22.50 points, or 0.88 percent, at 2,568.44 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 60.03 points, or 0.89 percent, at 6,813.77.

The gains come as the S&P tries to shrug off what has so far been its worst December performance since 1931. (

The energy sector .SPNY fell 0.15 percent and was the only sector in the red after oil prices plunged more than 4 percent. [O/R]

Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) rose 2.5 percent after the software maker forecast strong current-quarter profit on growth in its cloud business.

Truckmaker Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) jumped 18.8 percent, while restaurant operator Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N) rose 3.4 percent after the two companies issued upbeat quarterly earnings reports.

Boeing Co (BA.N) snapped a three-day losing streak with a 3.8 percent gain, making it the biggest boost to the Dow. The planemaker increased its dividend and share repurchase program.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) also rose 1.3 percent, following a near 13 percent drop in the past two days after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Data showed U.S. homebuilding rebounded in November on a surge in multi-family housing projects, but construction of single-family homes hit a 1-1/2-year low, pointing to a deepening housing market weakness.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 3.07-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.61-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 147 new lows.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta