US STOCKS-Wall St rises as growth stocks gain after two days of heavy selling

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* Ross Stores plunges after cutting 2022 forecast

* Match Group rises as Google allows payment alternatives

* Indices up: Dow 0.61%, S&P 0.88%, Nasdaq 1.04% (updates to open)

By Amruta Khandekar and Devik Jain

May 20 (Reuters) – U.S. stock indices rose on Friday, driven by growth in megacaps and healthcare stocks at the end of a volatile week, rattled by worries about the impact of rising inflation earnings and the impact of rate hikes on economic growth.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in morning trading. Energy was the best performer, up 2.2%, followed by healthcare and technology.

Microsoft Corp, and Apple Inc, rose between 1.5% and 1.8%, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

“Some traders are taking advantage of price weakness, at least in the short term, to make money. The real question is whether this will last by the end of the day,” said Sam Stovall, chief strategist investments at CFRA Research. .

“It will definitely be a battle for traders today. The market is trying to orchestrate at least a short-term relief rally, which is normal in bear market trends.”

Disappointing forecasts from major retailers Walmart Inc and Target Inc rattled market sentiment this week, adding to evidence that rising prices have begun to hurt the purchasing power of US consumers.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are set for their seventh consecutive week of losses, their longest losing streak since the end of the dot-com bubble. The Dow Jones is on track for its eighth consecutive weekly decline, its longest since 1932, during the Great Depression.

Indices are down between 13.3% and 26.1% so far this year as investors adjust to supply chain issues, lockdowns in China, geopolitical uncertainty stemming from conflict in Ukraine and higher US Federal Reserve rates.

Traders expect 50 basis point rate hikes from the US central bank in June and July.

The benchmark is down around 18.1% from its record close on Jan. 3. A close of 20% or more below this level will confirm that the S&P 500 has been in a bear market since reaching the top.

As of 10:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 189.32 points, or 0.61%, at 31,442.45, the S&P 500 was up 34.31 points, or 0.88%, at 3,935.10, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 117.90 points, or 1.04. %, at 11,506.40.

Asian and European stocks rebounded on Friday after China cut a key benchmark to support its economy.

Among other stocks, Ross Stores plunged 23.3% after the discount clothing retailer cut its 2022 sales and profit forecast, while Vans brand owner VF Corp gained 4.5% on strong revenue prospects for 2023.

Deere & Co fell 10% after the heavy-equipment maker reported lower quarterly sales.

Match Group Inc climbed 4.6% to the top of the S&P 500 as Alphabet Inc’s Google would allow the dating app maker to offer users a choice of payment systems.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues with a ratio of 2.28 to 1 on the NYSE and 2.03 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded a new 52-week high and 36 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 11 new highs and 143 new lows. (Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)