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


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    * 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.)
    By Herbert Lash
    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  AAPL.O , Microsoft Corp
 MSFT.O  and Inc  AMZN.O  led the way, followed by
Facebook Inc  FB.O  and Nvidia Corp  NVDA.O , rising at least
    The information technology index  .SPLRCT  jumped as
investors ditched value-linked stocks  .IVX  on signs of a
slowdown in the broader economic recovery. Growth-oriented
shares gained at a rate almost twice that of value stocks. 
    Volatility  .VIX  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  .DJI  rose
360.42 points, or 1.34%, to 27,175.86, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained
51.92 points, or 1.60%, to 3,298.51 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  added 241.30 points, or 2.26%, to 10,913.56.
    The S&P industrials sector  .SPLRCI  rose as data showed new
orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in August, while a
1.1% slide in energy stocks  .SPNY  put them on course for one
of their worst weeks since the coronavirus-driven crash in
    Cruise liners Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd  RCL.N , Norwegian
Cruise Line  NCLH.N  and Carnival Corp  CCL.N  jumped after
Barclays upgraded their shares to "overweight."*:nL2N2GM0JY
    Shares of Boeing Co  BA.N  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.*:nL2N2GM1AW L5N2GM26V 
    Costco Wholesale Corp  COST.O  fell as the warehouse chain
recorded high coronavirus-related costs for a second straight
    Novavax Inc  NVAX.O  jumped after the drugmaker launched a
late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.*:nL3N2GM2KJ
    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

 (Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York; Additional reporting by
Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)
 ((; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters

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