US stocks broadly higher, on pace for solid weekly gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in midday trading on Wall Street today, 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. Otherwise, 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.

Technology and retail companies led the advances.

Chip provider Broadcom led technology stocks higher after posting solid profits and issuing an upbeat forecast. The gains helped push chipmakers broadly higher and 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 negotiations aimed at resolving a trade war between the world's two biggest 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.

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