US STOCKS-Fed rate-cut hints power S&P 500 to all-time high
(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in a news window.)
* Stocks pare gains on Trump's Iran comment
* Financials fall; Energy up most among S&P sectors
* Indexes up: Dow 0.45%, S&P 0.44%, Nasdaq 0.36% (Updates to early afternoon)
By Shreyashi Sanyal
June 20 (Reuters) - A rally on Wall Street lost strength onThursday after the S&P 500 index touched a record high, poweredby the Federal Reserve's signals that it could cut interestrates as early as July to combat growing risks to global anddomestic growth.
The U.S. central bank left rates unchanged at the end of itstwo-day June policy meeting on Wednesday, but pledged to "act asappropriate" to sustain economic health. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N23R01O
Wall Street's main indexes have gained in recent weeks onexpectations of a rate cut and hopes of a revival of trade talksbetween the United States and China at the Group of 20 meetingnext week in Japan.
The benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX , which has risen about 7%so far in June, hit an intraday record high of 2,956.20 onThursday.
"It was always going to be difficult for the Fed to live upto high market expectations. While the bar was set high,policymakers appear to have cleared it with ease while alsoleaving themselves with plenty of outs," said Craig Erlam,senior market analyst at OANDA in London.
"It's clear that the G20 meeting next week will either givethem (the Fed) that out or make the decision to cut quitestraightforward."
A more-than-expected dovish Fed led to U.S. treasury bondyields tumbling, with the benchmark 10-year yields US10YT=RR dropping below 2% for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years. US/
Financial stocks .SPSY dropped 0.34%, while the energyindex .SPNY jumped 2.01%, the most among the 11 major S&Psectors, as oil prices surged over 5% on renewed tensions in theMiddle East after Iran shot down a U.S. military drone. O/R
Stocks pared some gains after President Donald Trump'scomment "You'll find out" when asked how the United States willrespond to Iran. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N23R0UB
At 12:56 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 120.53 points, or 0.45%, at 26,624.53 and the S&P 500 wasup 12.90 points, or 0.44%, at 2,939.36.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 28.58 points, or 0.36%,at 8,015.91.
The technology sector .SPLRCT rose 0.89%, boosting the S&P500 by the most, with Oracle CorpORCL.N leading the charge.
Oracle's shares jumped 7.37% after the business softwaremaker forecast current-quarter profit above estimates. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N23Q42B
Cruise operator Carnival CorpCCL.N slid 9.41%, the mostamong S&P companies, after cutting its profit forecast for theyear on the Trump administration's sudden ban on cruises to Cubaand weakening demand in Europe over political uncertainty. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N23R30I
Rivals Royal Caribbean Cruises LtdRCL.N and NorwegianCruise Line Holdings LtdNCLH.N dropped more than 3% each.
Buoying sentiment was data which showed the number ofAmericans filing applications for unemployment benefits fellmore than expected last week, pointing to underlying labormarket strength despite a sharp slowdown in job growth in May. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N23P19N
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.49-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and by a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 95 new 52-week highs and three newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 118 new highs and 35 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aparajita Saxena inBengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sriraj Kalluvila) ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 ;Reuters Messaging:Shreyashi.Sanyal.firstname.lastname@example.org))