US STOCKS-Wall St gains sharply for 2nd day; tech shares lead
* Brent crude pares early gains to turn flat
* Initial claims point to strengthening labor market
* Oracle up after results
* Indexes up: Dow 1.7 pct, S&P 1.6 pct, Nasdaq 1.6 pct (Updates to midday)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed more than 1 percent on Thursday, extending a rally from the previous session as tech shares gained with upbeat results from Oracle.
The technology sector, up 2.2 percent, helped fuel the advance, buoyed by a gain of over 8 percent in Oracle Corp , a day after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations. Shares of Apple climbed 1.9 percent.
On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 index had notched its best day since October 2013 after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates.
The S&P 500 had fallen nearly 5 percent from its most recent record high on Dec. 5 before the strong gains on Wednesday. Continuación...