US STOCKS-Wall St climbs as trade optimism boosts tech, industrials

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* Trump delays U.S. tariff hike on Chinese goods

* Tariff-exposed industrial, technology shares rise

* Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors trading higher

* Indexes up: Dow 0.79 pct, S&P 0.74 pct, Nasdaq 0.98 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Shares of technology and industrialcompanies pushed Wall Street's main indexes to session highs onMonday, after President Donald Trump said he would delay aplanned hike in tariffs on Chinese imports.

The announcement is the clearest sign yet that the twocountries are closing in on a deal to end their prolonged tradespat that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.*:nL1N20J04S

Trump said he was optimistic that a final trade deal couldbe reached with China and that he would hold a summit to signany pact, but cautioned an agreement may still not happen.*:nL1N20K0KM

"The focus is obviously on trade today, with the seemingresolution to the trade war which is causing the positivity,"said Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group inRichmond, Virginia.

"There is going to be some sort of deal because the economyis softening and tariffs are partly to blame for it."

The S&P technology index .SPLRCT rose 1.12 percent, withApple Inc's AAPL.O 1.5 percent rise leading the rally.

Gains in chip companies, which have a big exposure to theChinese market, helped the Philadelphia semiconductor index .SOX jump 1.75 percent.

The industrial sector .SPLRCI climbed 0.95 percent, helpedby a more than 1 percent rise in shares of tariff-exposedcompanies Caterpillar IncCAT.N and Boeing CoBA.N .

But the sector got the biggest boost from General ElectricCo GE.N , which jumped 9.4 percent after announcing a sale ofits biopharma business to Danaher CorpDHR.N for $21.4billion. Danaher shares were up 8 percent.*:nL3N20K3W3

Optimism on the trade front and dovish signals from theFederal Reserve have bolstered U.S. stocks in recent weeks, withthe S&P 500 index .SPX about 4 percent away from its recordclosing high hit in late September.

The benchmark index is now trading at its highest levelsince November 8.

At 11:07 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI wasup 206.48 points, or 0.79 percent, at 26,238.29, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 20.58 points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,813.25 and theNasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 73.62 points, or 0.98 percent,at 7,601.17.

The financial sector .SPSY rose 1.35 percent, helped by a1.50 percent rise in bank stocks .SPXBK , ahead of Fed ChairJerome Powell speech about monetary policy on Tuesday andWednesday.

Adding to optimism was a flurry of M&A activity.

Spark TherapeuticsONCE.O shares more than doubled afterSwiss drugmaker Roche Holding AGROG.S agreed to buy thecompany for $4.3 billion.*:nL5N20K0QC

Canadian miner Barrick Gold CorpABX.TO offered to buyU.S. rival Newmont Mining CorpNEM.N for nearly $18 billion.However, Newmont's shares dipped 0.7 percent as the offer pricewas at a discount.*:nL3N20K3OI

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.15-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and by a 1.99-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 58 new 52-week highs and one new low,while the Nasdaq recorded 109 new highs and four new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel inBengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((; +1 646 223 8780 ;Reuters

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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