September 14, 2011 / 4:45 PM / 9 years ago

US STOCKS-Techs lift Wall St but euro zone fears weigh

* Euro-zone fund approval delayed, adding to confusion

* Dell approves $5 billion more in buyback program

* Business inventories signal caution, retail sales flat

* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to midday)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose in a zigzag session on Wednesday as gains in major tech shares helped offset worries whether euro zone leaders can make progress in easing the region’s debt crisis.

Comments about possible new euro zone bonds to help ease the region’s debt crisis spurred early optimism, prompting an early rally in equities. However, those initial gains faded after an Austrian parliamentary panel failed to pass changes to a bailout fund, possibly delaying government approval until October.

The Dow fell as much as 1 percent, although officials said approval was not endangered. For details, see [ID:nL5E7KE34A]

“All the cross-currents in Europe are resulting in increased volatility here,” said David Kotok, chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors in Sarasota, Florida. “When we know what the next step will be, that will resolve a lot of our issues here.”

The leaders of Greece, France and Germany were to hold a video conference on measures to head off a potential Greek default, which has prompted rising global alarm. [ID:L3E7KE09F]

Tech stocks were the biggest gainers, with the S&P information technology index .GSPT up 0.8 percent and the semiconductor index .SOX up 1.5 percent. They are seen as a safer bet in risky times, as well as an industry that will benefit as the economy recovers.

Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and SanDisk Corp SNDK.O were the index’s top gainers, with Nvidia up 4.9 percent to $15.24 and SanDisk climbing 4 percent to $42.60.

Dell Inc DELL.O added 2.3 percent to $14.71 a day after its board authorized an additional $5 billion stock buyback program. [ID:nL3E7KD3WY]

“The yin and yang of the market right now is that stocks are cheap from a long-term perspective, but the uncertainty overseas means the tone changes all the time,” Kotok said.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 49.15 points, or 0.44 percent, at 11,155.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 6.57 points, or 0.56 percent, at 1,179.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 23.36 points, or 0.92 percent, at 2,555.51.

Also lifting the Nasdaq was Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), which rose 0.9 percent to $16.49. The company slashed its long-term forecasts late Tuesday, but the stock rose on the view it was seeking to reduce costs and set itself on a path for slower but more stable growth. [ID:nS1E78C109]

Avis Budget Group (CAR.O) rose 4.5 percent to $12.27 after dropping its bid to buy Dollar Thrifty DTG.N. Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ.N), which has also bid for Dollar, surged 12 percent to $11.22. [ID:nL3E7KE39F]

In the latest U.S. economic data, growth in retail sales stalled in August while business inventories rose slightly less than expected in July, suggesting caution by firms about demand at the start of the third quarter. [ID:nS1E78D0B7] [ID:nCAT005512]

Editing by Kenneth Barry

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