September 15, 2017 / 6:30 PM / 10 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street hits record high, S&P 500 teases 2,500-mark

* Three major Wall Street indexes hit record highs

* Nvidia up on bullish brokerage call, boosts chip stocks

* Indexes up: Dow 0.24 pct, S&P 0.06 pct, Nasdaq 0.28 pct (Updates with afternoon trading)

By Noel Randewich

Sept 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street touched intra-day record highs on Friday, with the S&P 500 approaching the 2,500 mark as technology stocks bounced back after two days of declines.

The S&P 500 information technology sector rose 0.21 percent, powered by an Nvidia-led surge in chipmakers, while Apple rose 1.1 percent in its first gain since unveiling new iPhones on Tuesday.

The semiconductor index surged 1.6 percent, boosted by Nvidia’s 5.7-percent jump to a record high after Evercore ISI raised its price target on the stock.

The S&P 500 tech index has been the best performing sector this year, rising more than 25 percent, far outpacing the broader S&P 500’s 11.5-percent growth.

Wall Street largely shrugged off reports showing an unexpected drop in U.S. retail sales last month and the first drop in industrial output since January, both in part due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

“Investors are keeping an eye on the retail sales data, thinking it may be transitory, and are focusing on growth areas such as technology, which is mostly immune to policy decisions in DC and has avoided all the global noise,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director of institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

U.S. stocks have surged this year, despite turmoil in the White House, doubts about President Donald Trump’s ability to push through his pro-business reforms, uncertainty over the timing of rate hikes, and lately, tensions over Pyongyang’s missile tests.

All three main indexes high intra-day all-time highs.

At 2:12 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.24 percent at 22,256.23 points, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.28 percent to 6,446.84.

The S&P 500 had gained 0.06 percent to 2,497.21, just short of the 2,500 mark.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.38-to-1 ratio.

“That’s not the best spread at a new high, but it’s better than the other way around,” said Frank Gretz, a technical analyst for Wellington Shields & Co, a brokerage in New York. “That makes it technically healthy.”

Earlier, North Korea fired a second missile in as many weeks over Japan, drawing criticism from global leaders but barely moving shares as investors await the next catalyst - the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Sept. 19-20.

Boeing rose 1.66 percent to a record high after Canaccord Genuity raised its price target for the stock.

Among the laggards was Oracle, which sank 7.38 percent, on track for its worst day in more than 4 years after disappointing forecasts for its profit and cloud business. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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