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US STOCKS-Wall Street hits new high as data boosts growth outlook

By Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* U.S. housing starts race to 13-year high in December

* Schlumberger rises after Q4 earnings beat

* Tech stocks boost Wall St again

* Indexes up: Dow 0.09%, S&P 0.21%, Nasdaq 0.05% (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes hit new record highs on Friday after strong U.S. housing data and signs of resilience in the Chinese economy raised hopes of a rebound in global growth.

Market sentiment brightened this week after the United States and China sealed the Phase 1 trade deal, pausing an 18-month tariff dispute that has weighed on financial markets globally.

The main indexes were on track to end with weekly gains of over 1.5% in what could be their strongest performance in 2020.

Earlier in the day, data showed China ended 2019 on a somewhat firmer note, even as economic growth cooled to its weakest in nearly 30 years.

Meanwhile, U.S. homebuilding surged to a 13-year high in December, suggesting the housing market recovery was back on track amid low mortgage rates.

"The macro data points both here and abroad have been relatively positive," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"That is creating an increased sense of optimism going into not just the earnings, but also guidance which is far more important at this point for both Q1 and fiscal 2020."

Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.8% in the fourth quarter, but forecast a 5.8% rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Billionaire David Tepper, who founded hedge fund Appaloosa Management, told CNBC that he remains bullish on U.S. equities. "We have been long and continue that way."

At 1:01 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09% to 29,325.17. The S&P 500 gained 0.21% to 3,323.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.05% at 9,362.01.

In a thin day for earnings, oilfield service provider Schlumberger NV reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit, sending its shares up 0.3%.

Google-parent Alphabet Inc rose 1%, extending gains after it became the fourth U.S. company to top a market value of $1 trillion on Thursday.

Technology majors including Visa Inc, Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc were the top boosts to the S&P 500.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.27-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 122 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 186 new highs and nine new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Arun Koyyur)

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