Wall Street gains as tech stocks rise


(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday, with gains in technology stocks helping claw back some of the week’s losses, which were sparked by concerns about interest rates. Looking past the recent stock market sell-off and concern about inflation, the Federal Reserve said it expected growth to remain steady and that it saw no serious risks on the horizon that might pause its planned pace of rate hikes. The Fed’s semiannual report to Congress on monetary policy was released ahead of new Chairman Jerome Powell’s first public outing next week, when he will testify separately before House and Senate committees. “There is a potential for volatility next week in Powell’s Q&A as well as economic data. There is history of new Fed chairs maybe saying too much. The chances of market getting surprises are better than average,” said Tom Essaye, founder of investment research firm Sevens Report. U.S. Treasury 10-year note yields US10YT=RR, which hit a more than four-year high at 2.9570 percent following the release of Fed minutes on Wednesday, eased to 2.8806 percent. Investors are expecting the Fed to raise rates three times this year, beginning with its next meeting in March. At 11:13 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.6 percent at 25,113.24 and the S&P 500 .SPX rose 0.68 percent to 2,722.38. Despite Friday’s gains, the indexes were on track to post small losses for the week. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.68 percent to 7,259.27 and was set for its second week of gains. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) and HP Inc (HPQ.N), the two companies created from the split of Hewlett Packard Co in 2015, were among the biggest gainers in the tech sector following their strong results. HPE also announced a plan to return $7 billion to shareholders. Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF.O) jumped 17 percent after General Mills GINS. said it would buy the natural pet food maker for $8 billion in cash. General Mills was the biggest loser on S&P 500, falling about 3.4 percent. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,965 to 820. On the Nasdaq, 1,638 issues rose and 1,074 fell. Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’SilvaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters