Stocks Open Broadly Higher Friday

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks opened broadly higher on Wall Street Friday, led by technology and retail companies, putting the market on track for a strong finish to the week.

The market is trying to erase last week's sharp drop, which marked the worst week of the year. Othewise it's been a strong showing for stocks so far in 2019, with all the major indexes showing a gain of at least 10 percent.

Chip provider Broadcom led technology stocks higher after posting solid profits and issuing an upbeat forecast. The gains were strong enough to outweigh declines in Adobe and Oracle, which both fell on disappointing forecasts.

Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty helped push consumer stocks higher. Amazon also posted early gains.

Investors appear to be encouraged by reports that the U.S. and China could be making progress on critical trade negotiations. China's government pledged to address the main sticking point of technology and competition in the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China's congress endorsed an investment law that aims to address complaints, particularly from the U.S., that China's system is rigged against foreign companies. The U.S. has accused China of forcing companies to share technology in order to do business in the country.

Stocks in Asia finished higher, with China's Shanghai exchange posting a gain of 1 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,676, mainly due to a decline in Boeing, the priciest stock in the index. The S&P 500 index rose 0.2 percent, as of 10:15 a.m. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent.

BROADCOM BUMP: Chip provider Broadcom touched an all-time high after it reported a better-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter profit and told investors that it would return $12 billion to stockholders in 2019 through dividends and buybacks.

The company also reaffirmed a solid revenue forecast for the year. The stock rose 9.6 percent.

PRETTY PROFIT: Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty beat Wall Street forecasts for all its key fourth-quarter measures, including profit and sales.

(BE)