Wall Street rising: Facebook, Alphabet gain
(Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday, buoyed by popular technology companies including Facebook and Alphabet, while shares of yoga pants seller Lululemon Athletica also warmed up.Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Facebook (FB.O) Google parent-company Alphabet (GOOGL.O) added over 1.5 percent, helping push the S&P 500 higher after the index lost ground for four straight sessions.
General Electric (GE.N) increased about 0.8 percent after the industrial conglomerate said it was cutting 12,000 jobs at its global power business.
Lululemon (LULU.O) jumped 7.16 percent after the Canadian apparel maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday season forecast.
“Technology once again is leading the way here,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
The top-performing sector this year, the S&P 500 information technology index .SPLRCT had fallen nearly 3 percent since Nov. 28, with some investors eyeing high earnings multiples.
Strong earnings and expectations of corporate tax cuts promised by President Donald Trump have pushed stocks up to record levels this year.
The Senate Republicans on Wednesday agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on the tax bill amid early signs that lawmakers could agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline.
“It’s really going to be the last minute before you really know what’s in that tax bill, but something will pass,” said Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
Also on investors’ radar, Trump and Congress face a deadline on Friday night to pass fresh spending legislation. If they cannot agree on the terms, parts of the federal government could shut down.
At 2:31 pm ET (1931 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.27 percent at 24,205.59 while the S&P 500 .SPX had gained 0.24 percent to 2,635.63.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.39 percent to 6,803.12.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with industrial .SPLRCI and technology sectors .SPLRCT leading the gainers.
The S&P 500 consumer staples index .SPLRCS fell 0.78 percent, hurt by drops of at least 1.2 percent in Procter & Gamble (PG.N), Pepsico (PEP.N) and Coca-Cola (KO.N).
LendingClub (LC.N) plunged 15 percent after the online lender lowered its quarterly revenue forecast.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a rapid tightening of the labour market.
The report comes ahead of more comprehensive government payrolls data on Friday that would be used by investors to gauge the strength of the labour market at a time when the Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise U.S. interest rates next week.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.59-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish