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Tech giants and smaller companies lead stocks higher

Tech giants and smaller companies lead stocks higher

September 29, 2017

NEW YORK – Large technology and health care companies and smaller U.S.-focused firms rose again Friday as stocks finished the third quarter at record highs.

Stocks were mixed at the start of trading, as they had been the day before. But chipmakers and big-name technology companies pulled stocks higher, as they have done all year. Health care companies also did better than the rest of the market. Tyson Foods climbed 7.6 percent after it gave strong profit forecasts, and investors cheered strong quarterly results from homebuilder KB Home.

The market ended the quarter on a four-day winning streak that began after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank plans to continue to raising interest rates.

“It’s all about the confidence they have that despite low inflation, it still makes sense to raise interest rates,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “She’s confident in the economy and the economic backdrop is very solid.”

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks is also at record highs after a big rally this month. It climbed 6 percent in September as investors felt positive about the U.S. economy and hoped Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration will reduce taxes.

Technology companies rose further and were the best-performing S&P 500 sector in the third quarter. They also held that distinction in the first quarter.


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U.S. crude oil climbed 12 percent in the third quarter, which helped energy companies do better than the rest of the market. But on Friday those companies gave back some of their recent gains.

Stocks have risen for eight quarters in a row, and Frederick said he expects that to continue in the fourth quarter.

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