US stocks climb on positive economic data, advancing tecnology shares

US stocks rose, for a second day, extending gains for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as better than forecast earnings boosted Hewlett-Packard Co. shares and led a technology rally while economic jobs data consumer confidence showed good numbers.

The S&P 500 added 0.3% to a record 1,807.23 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 24.53 points, or 0.2%, to 16,097.33, an all-time high. About 4.8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, the slowest trading since August 26. US equity markets will be closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to Wall Street Journal the S&P 500 tech sector is trailing the broader index for the year, up 21% compared with the S&P 500s 27% rise.

“There are a lot of big and well-established tech companies that are selling at potentially very interesting prices,” said John Carey, manager of Pioneer Investments $5.2 billion Pioneer Fund.

Data yesterday reported fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the labor market is picking up. The Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators, a benchmark of the economic outlook for the next three to six months, rose for a fourth straight month in October, while orders for U.S. durable goods fell 2% in October, as projected by economists.

European markets were lifted by favorable economic news from Germany and signs of political stability in the euro zone. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6%. The U.K.s FTSE 100 index grew 0.2%, Germanys DAX gained 0.7% and Frances CAC 40 added 0.4%.

Asian markets were mixed. Chinas Shanghai Composite added 0.8% after the head of the countrys central banks assured the market of more financial changes. Japans Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.4%, dropping from the six-month high reached on Monday.

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard gained 9.1% to $27.36. Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman got a boost in her turnaround efforts last quarter as businesses snapped up technology products. Results were pushed up by corporate demand for servers, personal computers and networking equipment.

Apple Inc. rose 2.4% to $545.96, the highest level since January. The waiting time for the company’s iPhone 5S smartphones has shortened as Foxconn Technology Co. boosted production, the Wall Street Journal reported. Apple is shipping iPhone 5S within three to five business days, down from a two-to-three week wait last month, the report said, citing the company’s online stores in China and U.S.

Time Warner Cable soared after The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that Cox Communications is considering jumping into the bidding for the second-largest cable operator.

Marathon Petroleum advanced 3.4% to $84.34 and Valero increased 3.7% to $45.97, as refiners rallied.

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