US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow clinch fresh highs as new coronavirus cases drop

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* Molson Coors Beverage rises after profit beat

* Lyft slides after disappointing revenue outlook

* Indexes up: Dow 0.69%, S&P 0.55%, Nasdaq 0.70% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

Feb 12 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials hit all-time highs on Wednesday, lifted by optimism that the coronavirus epidemic will be contained.

China reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by Beijing’s senior medical adviser for the outbreak in the country to end by April.

However, it was still unclear to what extent economic growth would take a hit from the virus that has killed more than 1,100 people and shuttered businesses in China.

“There’s optimism that coronavirus cases have started to slowdown,” said Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Investment Management, but added that “markets have not really factored in the effects of coronavirus on the Chinese economy.”

All major S&P sectors were higher and technology stocks , which have surged 10% so far this year, continued to dominate with a 0.8% rise.

The strengthening of Bernie Sanders’ front-runner status in the race of the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election appeared to add support to markets after his narrow win in New Hampshire, as some investors speculated that it increased the chances of President Donald Trump staying in office.

“The consensus is that if Sanders is the Democratic nominee, President Trump, in a one-to-one battle, could beat him easily in November elections,” Goldman said.

Health insurers UnitedHealth Group Inc, Centene Corp , Humana Inc and Anthem Inc gained between 3.2% and 4.5% and analysts pointed the share move to a smaller-than-expected margin win for Sanders, who supports elimination of private health insurance.

At 11:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.69% to 29,477.25 and the S&P 500 gained 0.55% to 3,376.17.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.70%, at 9,706.57.

The benchmark S&P 500 has risen nearly 5% from late January lows as largely positive fourth-quarter earnings and encouraging U.S. economic data helped investors look past coronavirus worries.

Molson Coors Beverage rose 1.2% after the beer maker beat quarterly profit and sales estimates.

Lyft Inc slid 9% as the ride-hailing company forecast slower revenue growth for the year.

Micron Technology Inc climbed 5.9% after UBS upgraded the chipmaker’s shares to “buy”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.90-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.61-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 58 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 109 new highs and 32 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Sankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)