S&P 500 Gets a Lift From Tech Sector -- WSJ

By Gunjan Banerji Features Dow Jones Newswires

A climb in technology shares buoyed U.S. stocks, boosting the Nasdaq Composite to a fresh record.

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The gains lifted Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook to records, the first time those companies -- the five largest by market capitalization -- all reached highs on the same day, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

Technology stocks have led gains over the past four months as investors moderated bets on companies expected to benefit from policy shifts such as tax cuts and pivoted to those that have provided reliable returns during the eight-year bull market.

"Investors are looking for growth anywhere they can find it. Technology is certainly one place," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist for Baird.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 44.00 points, or 0.7%, to 6091.60. The S&P 500 climbed 4.13 points, or 0.2%, to 2388.33. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 27.05 points, or 0.1%, to 20913.46.

Technology stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, increasing the sector's gain for the year so far to 16%.

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Apple added $2.93, or 2%, to $146.58, while Alphabet Class A shares rose 8.30, or 0.9%, to 932.82. Facebook climbed 2.21, or 1.5%, to 152.46. Microsoft rose 95 cents, or 1.4%, to 69.41. Amazon gained 23.24, or 2.5%, to 948.23.

Apple is scheduled to report earnings late Tuesday, while Facebook's results are expected late Wednesday.

The gains in the tech heavyweights came as investors are analyzing signs of lethargic domestic growth. U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday, while Americans' spending was flat in March for the second consecutive month, according to the Commerce Department.

While U.S. earnings have pleased investors, there have been "pockets of weakness" in some hard data, said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 2.327%, up from 2.282% Friday. Yields rise as prices fall.

U.S. crude oil lost 1% to $48.84 a barrel.

The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.6% Monday, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5%. Many other Asian markets were closed Monday.

Write to Gunjan Banerji at Gunjan.Banerji@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 02, 2017 02:48 ET (06:48 GMT)