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US STOCKS-Tech, bank stocks lift Wall St; tax-cut plan back in focus
October 20, 2017 / 3:54 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Tech, bank stocks lift Wall St; tax-cut plan back in focus

* Senate passes budget plan that could pave the way for tax cuts

* Tech stocks rebound; bank stocks gain

* GE dips after weak results, disappointing forecast

* PayPal jumps after upbeat earnings forecast

* Indexes up: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.34 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Technology and bank stocks lifted Wall Street on Friday and investor optimism received a fresh boost from Washington, where the Trump administration inched a step closer to implementing tax-cut plan.

Bank of America jumped 1.8 percent and Goldman Sachs rose 1 percent, trailing a rise in U.S. Treasury yields and Apple’s 0.8 percent gain led the recovery in technology stocks.

Hopes of tax cuts have helped the market rally, as companies expect the move to lift economic growth and inflation.

The Senate on Thursday approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

“It clearly is a positive and has added to the sentiment,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“Any legislative action that promotes economic growth, clearly will be additive to not only sentiment but presumably earnings.”

Third-quarter earnings season is under way and 183 S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings next week. So far more than 70 percent of the 88 S&P 500 companies have beat profit expectations.

The S&P and the Dow were on track to post gains for the sixth straight week and the Nasdaq for the fourth straight week.

At 11:14 a.m. ET (1514 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 77.78 points, or 0.34 percent, at 23,240.82, the S&P 500 was up 7.26 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,569.36 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.59 points, or 0.34 percent, at 6,627.66.

Seven of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by a 0.89 percent gain in the financial index.

PayPal’s 4.8 percent rise after upbeat earnings also lifted the tech stocks.

General Electric shares slipped 3.18 percent after the industrial conglomerate reported a profit miss and slashed its earnings forecast.

Procter & Gamble dipped 3.19 percent after the company’s sales narrowly missed estimates.

Celgene slumped more than 10 percent after the company decided to abandon testing a drug to treat Crohn’s disease.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,672 to 1,081. On the Nasdaq, 1,745 issues rose and 1,006 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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