US STOCK-Gains in tech stocks help Nasdaq touch record high

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCK-Gains in tech stocks help Nasdaq touch record high
Credit: © Reuters.

* Apple to launch iPhone 7 later on Wednesday

* Western Digital jumps on raised forecast

* Chipotle rises after Pershing Square (NYSE: SQ ) takes stake

* Dow down 0.05 pct, S&P down 0.02 pct, Nasdaq up 0.08 pct (Updates to open)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Sept 7 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq touched a record intraday high on Wednesday, helped by gains in technology shares, while the S&P 500 index and the Dow were little changed.

The technology index .SPLRCT rose 0.2 percent and hovered near its highest level since 2000, after Facebook FB.O hit a record high on a Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) upgrade.

Western Digital WDC.O jumped 9 percent and was among the top percentage gainers on the S&P and the Nasdaq after the company raised its profit forecast for the first quarter.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book - a summary of commentary on economic conditions - later in the day that will be parsed by investors for rate-hike clues.

"We've had three to four pieces of relatively disappointing economic data, so that puts some focus on today's Beige Book," said Art Hogan, managing director of Wunderlich Equity Capital Markets.

The markets are going to be in a wait-and-see mode until the Fed comes to some consensus of a rate hike in December, Hogan said.

Traders have priced in a 15 percent chance of a hike in September and a 45.7 percent chance in December, according the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

The dollar index .DXY was trading flat on Wednesday after falling more than 1 percent a day before. Oil prices also rose about 0.45 percent. O/R

At 9:45 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 9.38 points, or 0.05 percent, at 18,528.74, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 0.45 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,186.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 4.43 points, or 0.08 percent, at 5,280.33.

Six of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, with the consumer staples sector .SPLRCS falling the most by 0.68 percent. The typically defensive sector has risen 7.8 percent this year.

Apple AAPL.O shares were up 0.19 percent at $107.89. The biggest company by market value is expected to unveil the new iPhone 7 later on Wednesday. CMG.N rose 5.2 percent to $435.51 after activist investor William Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square bought a 9.9 percent stake in the burrito chain operator. RTRX.O jumped 28 percent after the company said its drug to treat a kidney disorder met the main goal of a mid-stage study. issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,482 to 1,149. On the Nasdaq, 1,310 issues rose and 946 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 61 new highs and six new lows.

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