September 27, 2018 / 2:38 PM / 18 days ago

US STOCKS-Apple, Amazon lead Wall St higher

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* Apple rises after JPM starts coverage with "overweight"

* Amazon gains on bullish Stifel comments

* Conagra falls on revenue miss, weighs on other food cos

* Carnival Corp falls as forecast disappoints

* Indexes up: 0.26 pct, S&P 0.44 pct, Nasdaq 0.82 pct (Updates to open)

By Amy Caren Daniel

Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks gained on Thursday, boosted by high-flying shares of Apple and Amazon, and the Federal Reserve's confidence in the strength of the economy as it raised rates for the third time this year.

The Fed on Wednesday also left its monetary policy outlook for the coming years largely unchanged and while Wall Street initially rose on the day, the rally quickly fizzled as investors digested the implications of the end of an era of "accommodative" monetary policy.

"We had a good flush in the last few hours of yesterday, so today we are going to catch a little bit of a bounce," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

Apple rose 2.5 percent and was the biggest boost to the three main indexes after JP Morgan started coverage of the stock with an "overweight" rating, citing the iPhone maker's quicker-than-expected move to a services business.

Amazon.com rose 1.5 percent after brokerage Stifel talked up the company's retail, cloud, and advertising businesses, even as the online retailer was set to open a brick-and-mortar store in New York City.

The other FAANG group of stocks - Facebook, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet - also rose.

"The FAANG group hasn't done a whole lot in the past two weeks but go down, and now that we're on the other side of the Fed decision, perhaps they can catch a bit of a relief rally." said Hogan.

Adding to the feel-good sentiment was data showing U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at its fastest pace in nearly four years as previously estimated.

At 10:05 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 68.65 points, or 0.26 percent, at 26,453.93, the S&P 500 was up 12.82 points, or 0.44 percent, at 2,918.79 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 65.35 points, or 0.82 percent, at 8,055.71.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by the technology sector's 0.85 percent jump.

While Apple boosted techs, one of the drags was Accenture , which fell 1.9 percent as the consulting and outsourcing services company's full-year profit fell short of analysts' estimates.

Cruise operator Carnival Corp tumbled 8.5 percent after its fourth-quarter forecast missed estimates. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean slid 4.5 percent each, anchoring the bottom of the S&P.

Joining them was Conagra, which dropped 6 percent after posting quarterly revenue that missed analysts' estimates.

That weighed on other food companies, with Kellogg, JM Smucker and Campbell Soup shedding 2 percent to 3 percent, pulling the consumer staples group down 0.11 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.77-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.50-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and nine new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 30 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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