By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose for a third straight day on Thursday, as industrials gained after President Donald Trump said trade talks with China were "moving along nicely", while optimism was boosted by healthy results, especially from chipmakers.
Trump said he plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month, reviving hopes that the world's two biggest economies could resolve their bitter trade dispute.
"Anything positive on trade is definitely going to be a boost to markets and it eases concern around the whole issue with China," said Jeff Carbone, managing partner at Cornerstone Wealth in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The trade-sensitive S&P industrial sector (SPLRCI) rose 1.50 percent, with Boeing Co (N:BA) and Caterpillar Inc (N:CAT) leading the gains.
However, the best performer among the 11 major S&P sectors was materials (SPLRCM), which jumped 2.94 percent. The biggest boost came from DowDuPont Inc's (N:DWDP) 7.8 percent surge after the chemicals producer's strong results and $3 billion share buyback.
Apple (O:AAPL) was 0.2 percent higher ahead of its results after the bell, with technology stocks (SPLRCT) rising 0.73 percent to continue their recovery.
Also helping was robust earnings reports from three Apple suppliers, NXP Semiconductors (O:NXPI), Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) and Qorvo Inc (O:QRVO), which powered the Philadelphia Semiconductor index's (SOX) 4.12 gain.
The technology sector has largely led the stock market's decade-long bull run, and the tumble in October. The index's 8 percent pullback is its worst monthly loss since March 2012.
"People are moving back into technology again, which shows that risk appetite picking up and you see people moving back into high-growth names as well," said Carbone.
At 11:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up 224.09 points, or 0.89 percent, at 25,339.85, the S&P 500 (SPX) was up 20.58 points, or 0.76 percent, at 2,732.32. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) was up 79.50 points, or 1.09 percent, at 7,385.40.
However, not all earnings were encouraging.
HanesBrands (N:HBI) slid 4.9 percent after the innerwear maker cut its full-year profit forecast, blaming Sears Holdings Corp's (PK:SHLDQ) bankruptcy and a strong dollar.
Newfield Exploration Co (N:NFX) surged 11 percent, the most on the S&P, after Canada's Encana Corp (TO:ECA) said it would buy the company in a $5.5 billion deal.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE a 3.03-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 22 new highs and 38 new lows.