US STOCKS-Wall Street ends higher as tech rally squashes virus fears, but S&P down for week

Reuters

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    * Indexes gain: Dow 1.34%, S&P 1.60%, Nasdaq 2.26%
    * 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

 (Adds closing market prices)
    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
confirmed a corrective phase earlier this month and the S&P 500
on an intra-day basis briefly broke that barrier 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, and is now up 22% for the year. The S&P 500 is
up a bit more than 2% for the year.
    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 Amazon.com Inc  AMZN.O  led the way, followed by 
Nvidia Corp  NVDA.O  and Facebook Inc  FB.O , rising at least
2.1%.
    The information technology index  .SPLRCT  jumped 2.4% as
investors ditched value-linked stocks  .IVX  on signs of a
slowdown in the broader economic recovery. Growth-oriented
shares  .IVX  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.
    The CBOE Market Volatility Index  .VIX , known as Wall's
fear gauge, fell 7.68%.
    "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.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose 358.52 points,
or 1.34%, to 27,173.96. The S&P 500  .SPX  gained 51.87 points,
or 1.60%, to 3,298.46 and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  added
241.30 points, or 2.26%, to 10,913.56.
    For the week, the Dow unofficially fell 1.74%, the S&P 500
slid 0.63%, and the Nasdaq gained 1.1%.
    Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.89 billion shares, 
    The S&P industrials sector  .SPLRCI  rose 1.49% as data
showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods jumped in
August, while a 0.06% slide in energy stocks  .SPNY  gave them
their worst week since mid-June.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM0I8
    Cruise liners Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd  RCL.N , Norwegian
Cruise Line  NCLH.N  and Carnival Corp  CCL.N  jumped 7.7% or
more after Barclays upgraded their shares to "overweight."
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM0JY
    Shares of Boeing Co  BA.N  rose 6.8% and 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.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM1AW L5N2GM26V  
    Costco Wholesale Corp  COST.O  fell 1.27% as the warehouse
chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for a second
straight quarter.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2GL3UZ
    Novavax Inc  NVAX.O  jumped 10.9% after the drugmaker
launched a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine
in the UK.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*: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
tally. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM02L
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.30-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.94-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 26 new highs and 49 new lows.  

 (Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York; Additional reporting by
Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)
 ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters
Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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