US STOCKS-Wall Street ends higher, boosted by tech, growth stocks

Reuters

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    By Stephen Culp
    NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) - Big tech pushed Wall Street to
a higher close on Thursday, modestly building on a two-day rally
as lackluster economic data and mixed corporate earnings sent
investors back to growth stocks.
    A pull-back in economically sensitive cyclicals kept the S&P
500's and the blue-chip Dow's gains muted, while small-caps
 .RUT  underperformed their larger rivals.
    But megacap tech and tech-adjacent stocks such as Apple Inc
 AAPL.O , Amazon.com  AMZN.O , Facebook Inc  FB.O , Google-owner
Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O  and Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O  rose ahead of
their quarterly results next week, putting the Nasdaq out front.
    All three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session within
1% of their record closing highs.
    Growth stocks  .IGX , which outperformed throughout the
health crisis, were back in favor, while the value index  .IVX 
slipped.
    "The market is flip-flopping between the view that economic
growth has almost peaked so you need to buy stocks that
manufacture their own growth like tech names, versus the view
that economic growth will continue and you want to own cyclicals
and value names," said David Carter, chief investment officer at
Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.
    The number of U.S. workers filing first-time applications
for unemployment benefits  USJOB=ECI  spiked unexpectedly to
419,000 last week, a two-month high, according to the Labor
Department.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2OX1Y5
    Market participants are closely watching labor market
indicators for hints as to when the Federal Reserve, expected to
convene next week for its two-day monetary policy meeting, will
begin discussions about hiking key interest rates from near
zero.
    "The jobless data today didn’t have a meaningful impact on
markets or the economic outlook," Carter added. "It’s now all
about how much longer the Fed will tolerate low rates. The Fed
seems to be favoring its full employment mandate more than its
price stability mandate." 
    "Accordingly, the upcoming Fed meeting could be impactful,"
Carter said.
    Benchmark Treasury yields eased after the bid at the
largest-ever TIPS auction touched a record low, pressuring rate
sensitive banks.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2OY1VA
    Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose
24.75 points, or 0.07%, to 34,822.75, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained
8.79 points, or 0.20%, to 4,367.48 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  added 52.64 points, or 0.36%, to 14,684.60.
    The second-quarter reporting season barreled ahead at
full-throttle, with 104 of the companies in the S&P 500 having
reported. Of those, 88% have beaten consensus estimates,
according to Refinitiv.
    Analysts currently see aggregate year-on-year S&P earnings
growth of 76.5% for the April to June period, a substantial
increase from the 54% projected at the beginning of the quarter.
    Drugmaker Biogen Inc  BIIB.O  rose after hiking its
full-year revenue guidance, while Domino's Pizza Inc  DPZ.N 
surged to an all-time high on the heels of its quarterly report.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OY21O  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OY24W
    Southwest Airlines Co  LUV.N  posted a bigger-than-expected
quarterly loss, sending its stock down, and American Airlines
Group Inc  AAL.O  dipped even after reporting a quarterly
profit.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OX385  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OY1XB
    The S&P 1500 Airlines index  .SPCOMAIR  lost altitude on the
day. 
    Shares of Texas Instruments Inc  TXN.O  slid after its
current-quarter revenue forecast cast concerns as to whether
chipmaker will be able to meet spiking demand in the face of a
global semiconductor shortage. 
    The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index was among the
session's losers.

 (Reporting by Stephen Culp"
Additonal reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in
Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy)
 ((stephen.culp@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6076;))

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