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* Qualcomm top boost to S&P, Nasdaq on upbeat forecast
* Trade-sensitive chipmakers, industrials rise
* Ralph Lauren jumps on profit beat
* Roku plunges after wider loss
* Indexes up: Dow 0.74%, S&P 0.56%, Nasdaq 0.68% (Updates to open)
By Arjun Panchadar
Nov 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes hit fresh record highs on Thursday, rallying on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade relations and another batch of largely upbeat earnings reports.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is eyeing its fifth straight week of gains, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is on track to rise for a sixth week in a row.
China said on Thursday that it had agreed with the United States to remove tariffs in phases, while the state-owned Xinhua News Agency said Beijing was also considering removing restrictions on poultry imports.
“This is fuelling optimism that a trade deal will be solidified at some point,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“It removes a veil of uncertainty and gives the market a green light for a risk-on path.”
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with a rise in oil prices driving a 1.2% gain in the energy sector and taking it to the top of the heap.
The technology sector provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 index, riding on a 7.5% jump in Qualcomm Inc shares after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor index also jumped 1.5% as chipmakers, which have a sizeable exposure to China, rose.
Nearly three-quarters of the 383 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have beaten profit expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
At 9:49 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 202.26 points, or 0.74%, at 27,694.82, the S&P 500 was up 17.13 points, or 0.56%, at 3,093.91 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 57.50 points, or 0.68%, at 8,468.13.
Ralph Lauren Corp jumped 14% after it topped second-quarter profit expectations, helped by tighter control on expenses and strong demand for its Polo shirts and tweed jackets in China and Europe.
Expedia Group Inc tumbled 22.5% as the online travel booking company missed quarterly profit estimates.
Roku Inc plunged 16.6% after posting a wider net loss in the third quarter, as it spent more to attract subscribers to its video streaming platform.
Twitter Inc fell 2.3% after Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “in-line”.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 45 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 81 new highs and 30 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)