semiconductor stocks lift broader tech sector

Technology firms pushed major U.S. stock indexes to fresh records Wednesday, a day after the Nasdaq Composite closed above 7,000 for the first time.

Rallying semiconductor stocks have boosted the broader technology sector at the start of 2018, after the PHLX Semiconductor Index added nearly 40% last year. The makers of computer chips used in everything from smartphones to self-driving cars have gotten a boost recently from a Semiconductor Industry Association report that showed a 21.5% increase in world-wide chip sales in November from the same month a year earlier, according to analysts.

Despite concerns that technology stocks have gotten pricey relative to earnings, some investors think continued strength in profits and sales could justify further share-price gains.

“As long as you’ve got the growth, I think you can make the case that your trajectory is going to continue to go up without too much of a bubble fear,” said Katrina Lamb, head of investment strategy and research at MV Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 98.67 points, or 0.4%, to 24922.68. The S&P 500 rose 17.25 points, or 0.6%, to 2713.06 and the Nasdaq climbed 58.63 points, or 0.8%, to 7065.53 to post its best two-day stretch since June 2016.

Nvidia climbed $13.12, or 6.6%, to $212.47, whileAdvanced Micro Devices was also among the S&P 500’s best performers, extending gains from Tuesday. Meanwhile, Intel shares fell 1.59, or 3.4%, to 45.26 after British publication The Register reported that some Intel processors have a fundamental design flaw that would require a significant security update of Linux and Windows operating systems. The S&P 500 information technology sector rose 1.1%.

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