Technology shares lifted Wall Street on Thursday as investors bet business spending will bolster profits in the sector.

Dow component Intel Corp , the world's largest chipmaker, was expected to report a quarterly profit on forecasts of renewed spending on technology when it releases results after the market close. Its stock gained 2.3 percent to $21.45.

Software also got a boost after Morgan Stanley added Oracle Corp , the world's No. 2 business software maker behind Microsoft Corp , to its best ideas list and raised its price target.

Oracle gained 2.5 percent to $25.37 and Microsoft rose 2 percent to $30.96, leading gains in the Nasdaq <.IXIC>.

The rise in technology is an indication that investors see business spending, not consumer spending, fueling further growth to bring us out of recession, said Burt White, managing director and chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 29.78 points, or 0.28 percent, to 10,710.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.78 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,148.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 8.84 points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,316.74.

The market rose despite an unexpected drop in December U.S. retail sales and an increase in new jobless claims last week that topped estimates.

The market was able to shrug off the data because as long as news is bad, government stimulus will keep coming, said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist at in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

In the financial sector, the KBW bank index <.BKX> was up 1.6 percent, led mainly by regional and mid-size banks. Comerica Inc jumped 2.9 percent to $34.13 after brokerage Raymond James upgraded its stock.

Bank shares were in the spotlight after U.S. President Barack Obama proposed a fee to make big banks repay taxpayers for bailouts.

The sector had fallen earlier in the week on speculation about the fee. (Additional reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Leslie Adler)