US STOCKS-Earnings optimism pushes Wall Street higher

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Earnings optimism pushes Wall Street higher
Credit: © Reuters.

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* Starbucks, Western Digital rise after results

* Senate in search for remedies to end government shutdown

* Intel drops as China slowdown hits earnings, forecast

* Indexes up: Dow 0.76 pct, S&P 0.66 pct, Nasdaq 0.72 pct

(Updates to open)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Jan 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with technology and consumer discretionary sectors leading a rally, as upbeat earnings reports helped investors overlook trade and growth worries.

A strong rally at start of the year was stalled this week by concerns about global economic growth, U.S. government shutdown and U.S.-China trade talks.

But with fourth-quarter earnings largely exceeding Wall Street expectations, the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is holding near six-week highs.

News that the U.S. Senate was looking for a way to end a partial U.S. government shutdown, entering its 35th day, also added to the mood. Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities said in a client note that renewed talks to end government shutdown and earnings "that for the most part are beating expectations" were helping the markets.

The consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD rose 1.27 percent, boosted by gains in Starbucks Corp SBUX.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O .

Starbucks Corp shares SBUX.O rose 4.17 percent as the popularity of its holiday-themed drinks in the United States helped quarterly sales top analysts' expectations. S&P technology sector .SPLRCT rose 0.54 percent, lifted by gains in shares of Western Digital Corp WDC.O and Apple Inc AAPL.O .

Western Digital Corp WDC.O , which missed estimates for quarterly results due to weak demand for its data storage devices, rose 7.60 percent after the company said its revenue would improve in the second half of the year. Shares of rival Seagate Technology STX.O climbed 7.59 percent. of the 97 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results have surpassed profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data. That is above the historical average of 64 percent.

Semiconductor stocks, which have taken a beating after Apple Inc's AAPL.O sales warnings, led Wall Street's rally on Thursday on better-than-feared results from chipmakers, including Xilinx Inc XLNX.O and Lam Research Corp LRCX.O .

However, Intel Corp's INTC.O dismal current-quarter forecast, which it blamed on a slowdown in China and sluggish demand for its data center and modem chips, sent its shares down 7.72 percent. also capped gains in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index .SOX which climbed 0.50 percent, after a near 6 percent surge on Thursday.

At 9:56 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 187.57 points, or 0.76 percent, at 24,740.81, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 17.50 points, or 0.66 percent, at 2,659.83 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 51.15 points, or 0.72 percent, at 7,124.61.

Investors are bracing for an event-packed week ahead, which includes the Federal Reserve's first policy meeting this year, U.S. jobs data, another round of trade talks and reports from tech giants, including Apple Inc AAPL.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O .

Shares of Apple rose 2.10 percent and Amazon climbed 1.35 percent.

D.R. Horton Inc DHI.N , which missed quarterly profit estimates, rose 1.62 percent after the homebuilder said it expected demand to rise during spring season. housing index .HGX climbed 1.65 percent.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL ) Co CL.N dropped 0.84 percent after the toothpaste maker forecast a decline in 2019 earnings as it spent more on advertising, while battling higher commodity costs. healthcare sector .SPXHC dipped 0.09 percent, pulled down by AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV ) ABBV.N which fell 6.96 percent after posting quarterly profit below estimates. issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.82-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.28-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded seven new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and eight new lows.

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