December 11, 2017 / 6:04 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St higher as technology, energy stocks gain

* Apple confirms acquisition of Shazam Entertainment

* Bluebird Bio-Celgene CAR-T drug receives positive response

* Cryptocurrency related stocks bounce after bitcoin futures debut

* Indexes up: Dow 0.13 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.47 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Technology and energy stocks gained in early afternoon trading on Monday, helping Wall Street shake off uncertainties following an explosion at one of New York’s busiest commuter hubs.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident an attempted terrorist attack after an initial investigation found that a man with a bomb-like device strapped to his body set off the explosion.

“When you see one of these events in a major city, you get a little cautious. But it’s never enough to really rout a stock market intraday,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

Interest in the surge in bitcoin and opening of futures trading continued to fuel bets on crypotcurrency related stocks, many of which have risen exponentially in value in the past three months.

Shares of Marathon Patent, Riot Blockchain , Overstock.com and Xunlei were up between 7 percent and 20 percent in the day.

Bitcoin futures jumped more than 20 percent in the U.S. debut on Sunday, which backers hope will encourage wider use and give legitimacy to cryptocurrency.

At 12:28 p.m. ET (1728 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 31.21 points, or 0.13 percent, at 24,360.37, the S&P 500 was up 5.22 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,656.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 32.14 points, or 0.47 percent, at 6,872.22.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by gains in energy index as oil prices rose after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs and investors focused on commodities following the explosion in New York. Apple confirmed it had reached a deal to acquire Shazam Entertainment, the U.K.-based app that lets users identify songs by pointing a smart phone at the audio source.

Its shares rose about 2 percent and was the top boost to all the three major indexes.

Financial, consumer staple and industrial stocks were the biggest losers.

Market focus will shift to Federal Reserve’s two-day rate setting meeting that begins on Tuesday. A third rate hike this year is near certain, with traders betting a 90 percent chance in its favor, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

“Coming off a week of pretty good economic data, investors will certainly take a close look at what the Fed has to do, what they say coming out of a meeting,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.

Among other movers, CenturyLink was the biggest S&P 500 gainer, rising about 10 percent after the telecom provider signed a 5-year contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Shares of Bluebird Bio rose as much as 30 percent to a record high of $222.03 after its experimental gene-modifying immunotherapy drug co-developed with Celgene received positive responses in early stage myeloma study. Celgene’s shares were up 2.2 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,618 to 1,224. On the Nasdaq, 1,525 issues rose and 1,370 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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