By Benjamin Pimentel

The tech sector advanced Thursday, powered by gains in shares of Symantec Corp. and broader investor optimism on reports of an expanding U.S. economy.

Symantec (SYMC) shares soared more than 11%, a day after the security-software maker posted higher earnings despite a revenue decline.

LSI Corp. (LSI) also saw its shares jump more than 4%, a day after the chip maker posted a jump in quarterly profit.

The double play, combined with news of a 3.5% increase in U.S. gross domestic product, helped lift the tech sector to early gains, as the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) rose 1.6% to 2,093.

The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) was up 2%, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) added 1.5%.

Major tech players posted gains, including Intel Corp. (INTC), eBay Inc. (EBAY) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).

However, Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and (AMZN) were in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up more than 150 points.