US STOCKS-Tech leads Wall St higher as virus fears rise

Reuters

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    * U.S. coronavirus cases top 7 million
    * Costco Wholesale drops on high COVID-19 costs
    * Cruise operators jump after Barclays upgrade
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.97%, S&P 1.23%, Nasdaq 1.79%

 (Updates prices to mid-afternoon)
    By Herbert Lash
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - Technology stocks again rode to Wall
Street's rescue on Friday, propelling the main indexes higher,
but the Dow and the S&P 500  were on track for their longest
weekly losing streak in a year after fears of an economic
slowdown sparked a sell-off.
    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.
    The Dow and S&P 500 were poised for their fourth straight
weekly declines, the longest weekly losing streak since August
2019. The Nasdaq was on track to close higher for the week after
falling the previous three weeks.
    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 including Facebook Inc  FB.O ,
Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O , Amazon.com Inc  AMZN.O , Apple Inc
 AAPL.O  and Netflix Inc  NFLX.O , which tend to outperform
during economic uncertainty, climbed between 1.0% and 3.3%.
    The information technology index  .SPLRCT  jumped 1.83% as
investors ditched value-linked stocks  .IVX  on signs of a
slowdown in the broader economic recovery.
    Volatility  .VIX  has also shot up as investors look for
clarity on whether Congressional will approve more stimulus
ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
    "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.
    At 2:32 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
rose 259.05 points, or 0.97%, to 27,074.49, the S&P 500  .SPX 
gained 40.04 points, or 1.23%, to 3,286.63, and the Nasdaq
Composite  .IXIC  added 191.36 points, or 1.79%, to 10,863.63.
    The S&P industrials sector  .SPLRCI  added 1.39% 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 March.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM0I8
    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd  RCL.N , Norwegian Cruise Line
 NCLH.N  and Carnival Corp  CCL.N  each jumped more than 7%
after a report said Barclays upgraded their shares to
"overweight."  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2GM0JY
    Boeing Co  BA.N  gained 4.9% after Europe's chief aviation
safety regulator said the planemaker's grounded 737 MAX could
receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and
enter service by the end of the year. Boeing gave the Dow its
biggest boost. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2GM1WU
    Costco Wholesale Corp  COST.O  fell 1.5% as the warehouse
chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for a second
straight quarter.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2GL3UZ
    Novavax Inc  NVAX.O  jumped 10.8% 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
1.88-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.48-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week highs and no new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 18 new highs and 40 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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