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Tech, health care companies help lift US stocks higher

U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in late-afternoon trading Wednesday as the market bounced back from modest losses a day earlier. The rally drove the Dow Jones industrial average back above 26,000 points and had the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on course for a record high close. Technology and health care companies accounted for much of the gains. Financials stocks also rose, even as some big banks fell after reporting hefty quarterly losses.

Keeping score: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 26 points, or 1 percent, to 2,803 as of 3:36 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow gained 307 points, or 1.2 percent, to 26,100. The Nasdaq added 73 points, or 1 percent, to 7,297. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 14 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,587.

The quote: “If you look at earnings growth, and then also as people are trying to digest the impact of corporate tax reform, when you do see a sell-off you do see people coming into the market and trying to find some bargains,” said Nana Adae, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Tech rally: Technology companies notched solid gains. Lam Research led all stocks in the S&P 500, climbing $14.04, or 7.4 percent, to $204.43.

Healthy moves: Investors bid up shares in health care stocks, including Anthem. The insurer added $7.93, or 3.3 percent, to $249.68.

Data boost: Industrial stocks were moving higher after the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production rose 0.9 percent in December, propelled by a surge in utility output. Boeing led the sector’s big gainers, rising $13.31, or 4 percent, to $348.47.