(Updates to early afternoon)
    * U.S. to delay tariff increase on Chinese imports
    * ECB cuts deposit rate to record low
    * All eyes now on Fed meeting next week
    * Technology biggest boost on S&P 500, energy only drag
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.55%, S&P 500 0.61%, Nasdaq 0.67%

    By Uday Sampath Kumar
    Sept 12 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 inched closer to its
all-time high on Thursday, after a stimulus drive by the
European Central Bank added to an upbeat mood from trade
concessions by Washington and Beijing ahead of planned
negotiations in October.
    President Donald Trump said the United States would delay
increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports,
after Beijing exempted some U.S. goods from additional levies.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2621DV
    Trade-sensitive technology stocks provided the biggest boost
among the 11 major S&P 500  .SPX  sectors, taking the benchmark
index just 0.3% off the record-high hit in July.
    While most analysts agreed that the concessions were a step
in the right direction, they were skeptical that the moves would
lead to a breakthrough in trade negotiations between the world's
two largest economies.
    "Both China and the United States are trying to reach across
the aisle ... but all they've done is kick the can further down
the road," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset
Management in Chicago.
    ECB chief Mario Draghi pledged indefinite asset purchases on
Thursday and cut deposit rates to a record low for the first
time since 2016. The move took a toll on U.S. treasury yields
across the board, which dragged down shares of banks  .SPXBK  by
0.6%.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N2630LS  US/ 
    Investors expect other central banks to deliver similar
stimulus programs to prop up a global economy that has been
bruised by the Sino-U.S. trade war. The Federal Reserve is also
expected to reduce interest rates at its policy meeting next
week.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2630ZT
    All the major indexes hit a session high on a report https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-12/trump-advisers-considering-interim-china-deal-to-delay-tariffs?utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=business&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_source=twitter
 that the Trump administration was considering an interim deal
with China. However, they quickly pared gains after CNBC said
that a senior White House official denied https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/12/senior-white-house-official-denies-report-us-considering-interim-china-trade-deal.html
 the report.
    "It's just what we should come to expect now," Kingsview's
Nolte said about the choppy market reactions.
    Separately, data on Thursday showed U.S. underlying consumer
prices in August recorded the largest annual gain in a year,
while weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-month low.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nLNSCKEFAC
  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nLNSCKEFAB
    At 13:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was up 155.02 points, or 0.57 percent, at 27,292.06, the S&P 500
 .SPX  was up 18.54 points, or 0.62 percent, at 3,019.47 and the
Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  was up 53.61 points, or 0.66 percent,
at 8,223.29.
    Energy stocks  .SPNY  fell 0.44% and were the only decliners
among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors as oil prices dipped after a
meeting of the OPEC+ alliance yielded no decision on deepening
supply cuts.  O/R 
    Industrial stocks were pressured by drops in Deere & Co
 DE.N  and Caterpillar Inc  CAT.N  after Wells Fargo downgraded
their shares to "market perform".  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2632IJ
    Oracle Corp  ORCL.N  fell 3.7% after the software maker
posted first-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street
expectations and said Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd would be
taking a medical leave.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2623UK
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.32-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 39 new 52-week highs and one new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 20 new lows.

 (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)
 ((UdaySampath.Kumar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223
8780; Twitter: @sampath_uday; Reuters Messaging:
UdaySampath.Kumar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))