October 12, 2018 / 7:02 PM / 8 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rebounds with technology stocks back in favor

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* Apple, Microsoft help tech stocks climb about 2 pct

* JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Citi mixed after results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.23 pct, S&P 0.45 pct, Nasdaq 1.20 pct

* The three indexes had lost about 5 pct in past two days (Adds comments, updates to late afternoon)

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes rose on Friday after a week of blistering losses as investors returned to technology and other growth sectors, but gains were hampered by ongoing worries about U.S.-China trade tensions and rising interest rates.

Energy and financial stocks continued to fall and bank stocks kicked off the third-quarter financial reporting season with a whimper, while investors fled insurance stocks after Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida.

The technology sector was the biggest gainer of the S&P’s 11 major industry indexes, with a 1.5 percent advance, but it was still on track for its biggest weekly drop since March.

“Generally what we were seeing is more momentum and technology names selling off. Now buyers are coming back to say some of these are babies that were thrown out with the bath water,” said Laura Kane, head of Americas thematic investing at UBS Global Wealth Management.

“Now we’ve had the pullback, valuations look attractive,” said Kane, although without a U.S.-China trade deal, “some of the sources of volatility are not going to go quickly,” she added.

At 2:42 p.m. EST (1842 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,077.52, the S&P 500 gained 9.33 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,737.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.33 points, or 1.08 percent, to 7,408.39.

All three indexes were on track for their biggest weekly declines since late March.

The S&P’s financial sector was the biggest percentage loser on the day with a 0.9 percent drop, while the S&P 500 banks subsector slid 1.6 percent. The biggest drag on the subsector was JPMorgan Chase & Co, which reversed early gains to trade down 2 percent despite its quarterly profit beating expectations.

PNC Financial led the percentage losers among bank stocks, with a 6.5 percent drop after the regional bank reported disappointing quarterly loan growth and said it expected only a small improvement in lending this quarter.

The only gainers among banks were Citigroup, which rose 0.6 percent, and Wells Fargo, which eked out a 0.64 percent gain after upbeat results.

Netflix, Amazon and Apple - some of the names that took a hit from the selloff this week - rose between 2 percent and 4 percent.

The S&P 500 technology index rose 1.77 percent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

“The past few days were a bit of a wake-up call, but it also created an opportunity for those who have been missing out to buy some of these high-growth technology names,” said Jason Browne, chief investment strategist at FundX Investment Group in San Francisco.

The bank results launch a quarterly reporting season that will give the clearest picture yet of the impact on profits from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

Earnings at S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 21.5 percent in the third quarter, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv, a slowdown from the previous two quarters.

Energy stocks fell 0.80 percent as oil prices dropped after the International Energy Agency (IEA) deemed supply as adequate and the outlook for demand weakening.

Among the major gainers were the consumer discretionary and communication services sectors, which rose more than 1 percent each.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.25-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.08-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 52 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 9 new highs and 220 new lows.

Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Rosalba O'Brien

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