Gains in tech stocks, Amazon drive Wall St. higher


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with technology shares and Amazon driving gains ahead of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting. The Fed left rates unchanged at the January meeting, but investors will look for its opinion on inflation and interest rates, especially after strong economic data raised concerns of an overheating economy and triggered the recent selloff. “Right now Fed fund futures are pricing in three rate hikes with just under a 50-50 short of a fourth,” said Matt Miskin, market strategist at John Hancock Investments. “The Fed minutes and the lead up to the March meeting could push that fourth rate hike into play as we find more about inflationary data and how the Fed is looking into that,” Miskin said. Investors also took stock of the latest developments in the Broadcom-Qualcomm takeover saga. Broadcom Corp (AVGO.O) lowered its takeover offer for chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM.O) to account for the latter’s increased offer for NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI.O).Qualcomm shares fell 1.2 percent. By 11:05 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI had gained 0.53 percent to trade at 25,097.77. Slideshow (2 Images)The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.85 percent to 7,295.86 and the S&P 500 .SPX was up 0.65 percent at 2,733.83. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.18 percent gain in the industrial index .SPLRCI. Boeing (BA.N) gained 1.4 percent after Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said the plane maker will generate about 15 percent of its earnings per share and about 10 percent of its cash for the full year during the first quarter of 2018. Amazon (AMZN.O) rose 1.9 percent, while tech heavyweights such as Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) gained between 1 percent and 2.6 percent. The real estate .SPLRCR sector, however, came under pressure after data showed U.S. home sales unexpectedly fell in January. The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields US10YT=RR, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, were slightly below the four-year peak at 2.8932 percent. The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, a gauge of near-term stock market volatility, eased to a session low of 18.38 and below Friday’s close of 19.46. A jump in these two gauges to multi-year highs were at the center of the selloff in equities earlier in the month. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,145 to 649. On the Nasdaq, 2,068 issues rose and 686 fell. Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’SilvaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters