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Dow logs more than 200-point gain as Apple leads tech stocks higher

Sunny Oh

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday as a sharp surge in tech shares helped to lift key equity benchmarks. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to end near 2,855. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 218 points to end around 25,964, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4% to finish around 7,839. Equities bounced back from early weakness on Thursday after the Federal Reserve's March meeting showed the central bank had trimmed its projections for interest rates this year from two to none. China's commerce ministry confirmed Thursday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would visit China next week. In company news, shares of Apple Inc. climbed 4.2% after Needham rated the iPhone maker as a "strong buy."