By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose slightly on Wednesday, lifted by technology stocks, though gains were limited as investors awaited progress on U.S.-Canada trade talks and eyed a deadline for consultations on the next round of China-U.S. tariffs.
Helping the market was Amazon.com's 1.4 percent jump and Alphabet's 1.1 percent gain after Morgan Stanley raised its price target on both stocks to become the most bullish Wall Street brokerage on the so-called FANG members.
The technology sector was up 0.44 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, while trade-sensitive industrials was flat.
After the United States and Mexico struck a bilateral deal on Monday, the U.S. and Canada are working to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement amid signs Ottawa was open to taking a more conciliatory approach.
Adding to the trade trepidation was an upcoming Sept. 5 deadline for public comment on a U.S. proposal to slap tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
"Investors will continue to concentrate on trade talks now with Canada," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
"It looks like we are headed for another mixed to positive session much like yesterday's, but with lighter trading volume. But any positive comments on trade might contribute to a stronger upwards move."
The benchmark S&P 500 index has hit a record high in each of the past three sessions, but its gains have slowed.
At 9:58 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.94 points, or 0.06 percent, at 26,048.08, the S&P 500 was up 3 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,900.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.18 points, or 0.28 percent, at 8,052.22.
Also helping sentiment was Commerce Department data that showed U.S. economic growth was a bit stronger than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its best performance in nearly four years as businesses boosted spending on software and imports declined.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher. The biggest loser was the financial sector, down 0.39 percent.
Shares of Dick's Sporting Goods tumbled 7.5 percent as the sportswear retailer's quarterly same-store sales fell more than expected.
The company blamed tighter controls on gun sales and weak sales of Under Armour products, which pushed shares of the sportswear maker down 7 percent, the most on the S&P.
Royal Caribbean Cruises rose 3 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded the cruise operator's shares.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 32 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 59 new highs and 9 new lows.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)