Stocks Close Higher

Semiconductor shares paced the advance, showing strength ahead of Intel's mid-quarter update

Stocks finished Thursday's session with gains as a rally in tech shares led the broader market higher. Blue chips were restrained, however, by weakness in financials as investors bought into semiconductor and other high-tech sectors. Sentiment was positive ahead of Intel's (INTC ) mid-quarter update, which many see as a barometer on the health of the chip industry. Shares of the tech bellwether gained roughly 4% ahead of the news.

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