Wall Street moves higher, led by technology shares; Nasdaq hits record

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The Nasdaq hit a record intraday high on Tuesday, with the overall gain in United States stocks led by technology and financial companies, as investors weighed the prospect of an interest rate hike this year.

As the US earnings season winds down, the focus shifts to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's upcoming speech on Friday at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for clues on when the central bank will raise rates.

Ms Yellen's stance will either support or dismiss the perceived hawkish stand that Fed policymakers have taken in recent days. Various officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have hinted that a rate hike in the coming months was possible.

Traders' bets of a rate hike in September stand at 15 per cent, and go up to 40 per cent for December, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. "... By no means will the Fed want to cut off the bait for the September or December meeting," said Steven Wieting, global chief investment strategist at Citi Private Bank.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (9:38 p.m Singapore time) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 93.14 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 18,622.56. The S&P 500 was up 9.57 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 2,192.21, just 1 point away from its all-time intraday high.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 24.05 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 5,268.66. It hit a record high of 5,272.51.

All 10 major S&P 500 indexes were higher. The technology index rose 0.61 percent, boosted by gains in Apple and Microsoft among others.

The financial index rose 0.47 per cent.