* Business activity jumped in May - Philadelphia Fed
* Financial, tech lead S&P gainers
* Cisco sinks on bleak 4th-qtr revenue forecast
* Indexes up: Dow 0.18 pct, S&P 0.27 pct, Nasdaq 0.52 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 18 U.S. stocks rose as upbeat economic data
emboldened investors to return to the market on Thursday, a day
after Wall Street suffered its worst selloff in eight months
following a political turmoil involving President Donald Trump.
Reports that Trump had tried to intervene in an ongoing
federal investigation cast a shadow on his presidency and the
future of his pro-growth agenda.
Wall Street rebounded after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve
said its business activity index unexpectedly rose in May after
declining for the past two months. Weekly unemployment data also
pointed to strength in the labor market.
"Even if we have a big, prolonged mess in Washington, it's
not going to necessarily hurt the economy," said Tony Roth,
chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Wilmington,
"As long as the economy holds up, I think the market is
going to brush off what is going on in Washington."
At 12:36 p.m. ET (1636 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 37.17 points, or 0.18 percent, at
20,644.1, the S&P 500 was up 6.43 points, or 0.27
percent, at 2,363.46 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
31.08 points, or 0.52 percent, at 6,042.31.
Indexes briefly pared gains after a speeding car crashed
into pedestrians in New York City's Times Square, killing one
and injuring more than a dozen people. The incident did not
appear to be an act of terrorism, witnesses, police and news
Investors saw an opportunity to pick up beaten down stocks.
"I'm not concerned, just yet, that we're on the cusp of a
major breakdown in the market. From a very short term
perspective this is a very good buying opportunity," said Paul
Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management LLC in
The S&P 500 financials and technology
sectors, which were the worst hit on Wednesday, rebounded to
give the biggest boost to the broader index.
Apple was up 1.5 percent after registering its
steepest decline in over a year.
Cisco tumbled 7.7 percent after the networking gear
maker forecast current-quarter revenue that came in below
Wal-Mart was up 2.4 percent at $76.91 after the
big-box retailer's quarterly earnings beat analysts'
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,440
to 1,373. On the Nasdaq, 1,544 issues rose and 1,205 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and 15 new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 77 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)