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Media stocks, techs boost S&P; Nasdaq hits record high

Stock MarketsJun 20, 2018 12:00PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Medha Singh

(Reuters) - A jump in technology and media stocks lifted the S&P 500 on Wednesday and pushed the Nasdaq to a record high, but the Dow remained under pressure from an escalation in the U.S.-China trade spat that has slammed global markets.

Twenty-First Century Fox gained 7.1 percent after Walt Disney sweetened its offer for some of the company's assets to $71.3 billion, looking to topple Comcast's bid.

The S&P 500 media index rose 1.1 percent with all its 14 members in positive territory. Viacom gained 2.4 percent, while DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Discovery were up about a percent.

The so-called FAANG stocks - Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) - were also higher.

"You've got a little bit of a shift away from the macro concerns which will continue to be a headwind for this market until we get some answers on trade. Right now the focus is on M&A," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

Markets skidded on Tuesday after President Donald Trump's latest tariff threats against Chinese goods intensified worries over an intensifying China-U.S. trade spat.

The United States is also under fire from other countries for its protectionist measures. The European Union will start charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products from Friday after Washington imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum at the start of June.

At 11:24 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 32.92 points, or 0.13 percent, at 24,667.29. The S&P 500 was up 6.94 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,769.53 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 58.11 points, or 0.75 percent, at 7,783.69.

Of the 11 main S&P index sectors, five were higher.

The blue-chip Dow index erased early gains and turned negative, looking to add to its six-day losing streak.

Declines in industrials, including 3M's 0.8 percent decline and Caterpillar's 0.8 percent fall, weighed the most.

"Considering the magnitude of headwinds that we face in trade, it appears as though it has been relatively 'extra Dow' and that's because Dow companies are more heavily impacted due to strong dollar and trade talks," Hogan said.

Shares in General Electric (NYSE:GE) Co, the last remaining original member of the 30-stock Dow, fell 1.1 percent after losing its position in the index.

Walgreens, which will replace GE, gained 1.1 percent.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) slipped 8.5 percent after the world's largest coffee chain's quarterly sales growth forecast missed analysts' estimates.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) dropped 0 percent after the software maker's current-quarter profit forecast fell short of analysts' expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.71-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.19-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 21 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 158 new highs and 24 new lows.

Media stocks, techs boost S&P; Nasdaq hits record high
 

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