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Technology leads stocks higher; hospitals, insurers sink

The screens of specialist Robert Tuccillo are reflected

The screens of specialist Robert Tuccillo are reflected in his glasses as he works at his post on the floor of the NYSE, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Credit: AP

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Friday to wrap up a subdued week, and technology companies did most of the heavy lifting. Investors were also pleased to see that shoppers spent more money in September.

Printer and PC maker HP sent technology companies higher after releasing a strong profit forecast for next year. Big names like Intel and Facebook also rose. Companies in retail, travel and entertainment moved up after the Commerce Department’s report on retail spending. Health insurers and hospital operators skidded after President Donald Trump said he will stop government payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act.

Sean Lynch, the co-head of global equity strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said that unless the current batch of corporate reports is surprisingly good, stocks won’t rise much further.

“If we come in at expectations or slightly above, I think markets maintain these gains,” he said.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.1 percent, to 2,553.17. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 30.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,871.72. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.2 percent, to close at a record high of 6,605.80. — AP

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