February 23, 2018 / 3:24 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street advances on gains in tech stocks

* General Mills to buy Blue Buffalo for $8 bln

* Hewlett Packard Enterprise opens at record high

* Indexes up: Dow 0.81 pct, S&P 0.72 pct, Nasdaq 0.76 pct (Updates to open)

By Sruthi Shankar

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Friday, with gains in technology stocks helping claw back some of the week's losses, which were sparked by concerns about interest rates.

Soaring shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc, the two companies created from the split of Hewlett Packard Co in 2015, were a major force behind the surge in technology stocks.

Both companies reported strong results on Thursday, with HPE also announcing a plan to return $7 billion to shareholders.

The S&P technology index rose 0.9 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq turned positive for the week, with gains of 0.76 percent.

At 9:35 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.81 percent at 25,163.8 and the S&P 500 gained 0.72 percent at 2,723.48.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products jumped 17 percent after General Mills said it would buy the natural pet food maker for $8 billion in cash. General Mills was the biggest loser on S&P 500, falling about 4 percent.

Equity markets came under pressure on Wednesday after minutes of the central bank's last meeting showed policymakers grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates.

U.S. Treasury 10-year note yields, which hit a more than four-year high at 2.9570 percent following the release of the minutes, have eased to 2.8915 percent.

The focus is now on New York Fed President William Dudley, Cleveland Fed's Loretta Meister and their San Francisco counterpart, John Williams, who will be speaking later in the day. All three are members of the rate-setting committee this year.

Market participants are largely expecting the Fed to raise rates three times this year, beginning with its next meeting in March.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,211 to 354. On the Nasdaq, 1,801 issues rose and 487 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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