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Stocks rise sharply, led by gains in technology

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology stocks roared back Wednesday, driving the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones industrial average to record highs.

The industry has lagged the broader market this year, but surged after network communications company Adtran reported earnings that were double what Wall Street analysts expected. That boosted optimism that businesses will increase spending on technology equipment.

Chipmakers Micron and Intel jumped, as did other network equipment makers like Cisco and JDS Uniphase. Stocks were also up on an optimistic reading of the Federal Reserve's latest minutes.

Technology stocks rose 1.8 percent, the most of the 10 industry groups in the S&P. That's a big change from tech's weak performance this year. The group is up just 4.7 percent, trailing the S&P's gain of 11.3 percent.

"Tech has performed so poorly, it's oversold and warrants some interest here," said Scott Wren, a senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. "If the economy continues to improve there is going to be some capital spending."

The stock market has reversed course this week, rising three straight days. Last week, investors' confidence fell because of an unexpectedly poor report on the U.S. job market and other signs that the economy slowed in March.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 128.78 points Wednesday, or 0.9 percent, to 14,802.24. It was the biggest one-day rise in a month. The Dow is up 13 percent in 2013.

The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, had the biggest percentage gain of the three main indexes Wednesday, rising 59.39 points, or 1.8 percent, to 3,297.25. The S&P rose 19.12 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,587.73.

Investors viewed positively the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting, which were released before the market opened. The minutes revealed that policy makers are becoming more confident that the U.S. economy can grow without stimulus from the Fed, said Brian Gendreau, a market strategist at Cetera Financial Group.

The Fed released the minutes at 9 a.m. Eastern, five hours ahead of schedule, after the document was inadvertently distributed to congressional staff and trade group officials. The market rose steadily in the morning and stayed high through the afternoon.

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