Wall Street lifted by gains in technology shares

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were slightly higher in late morning trading on Thursday, helped by gains in technology stocks.

A mere 0.4 percent rise in Apple APPL.O led the three indexes higher, an indication of the muted trading activity in the week ahead of the New Year holiday.

Commodities were in the spotlight, with oil prices near their two-and-a-half-year highs and copper CMCU3 at four-year peak, helping global equities hit record levels.

The benchmark S&P 500 has climbed about 20 percent this year, on track to record its best annual gains since 2013, boosted by robust economic growth and solid corporate earnings.

The rally is widely expected to extend into 2018 fueled by gains from a new U.S. tax law that lowers tax burden on corporates.

“Tax cuts will produce an increase in earnings and that is now incorporated into official sell-side estimates,” said Brant Houston, managing director at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management in Colarado.

“However, I don’t think we should get used to returns like this, the trends looking forward will be more subdued than we saw in 2017.”

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The dollar slipped to a four-week low against a basket of currencies, under pressure from a recent dip in U.S. 10-year bond yields. [USD/] A weaker dollar tends to boost revenue of companies with large global presence.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1557 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 53.18 points, or 0.21 percent, at 24,827.48.

The S&P 500 .SPX was up 2.2 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,684.82 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 3.57 points, or 0.05 percent, at 6,942.90.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology index’s .SPLRCT 0.31 percent rise topping the list.

The high-flying FANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet – also contributed to the rise.

Live Ventures (LIVE.O), owner of internet marketing firm LiveDeal, surged more than 70 percent after reporting a jump in annual revenue.

J.B. Hunt Transport (JBHT.O) fell about 2 percent after the logistic services provider forecast current-quarter profit below estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,551 to 1,164. On the Nasdaq, 1,395 issues rose and 1,352 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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