US STOCKS-Wall St holds steady as investors await big earnings


* BlackRock falls after quarterly results miss estimates
    * Netflix to report results after market close
    * Microsoft, Goldman, Johnson & Johnson results awaited
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.02 pct, S&P 0.08 pct, Nasdaq 0.09 pct

 (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
    By Tanya AgrawalJuly 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed and
hovered near record levels in late morning trading on Monday as
investors geared up for a busy earnings week from big U.S.
    Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500
companies rose 8.2 percent from a year earlier. First-quarter
earnings posted their best performance since 2011, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
    Microsoft <MSFT.O>, IBM <IBM.N> and Johnson and Johnson
<JNJ.N> are scheduled to report results this week. Netflix
<NFLX.O> will report results after the market close on Monday.
    Earnings will be closely watched to see if high valuations
are justified in the face of tepid inflation and a recent patch
of mixed economic data.
    The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings
estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term
average of 15 times.
    "After new highs that we saw last week, the market deserves
a rest as investors await big earnings this week," said Dave
Donabedian, chief investment officer of Atlantic Trust.
    "Our view is that right now the equity market is a
one-legged stool that's driven by earnings and we're pretty
optimistic about earnings but if that should falter, the market
will falter."
    At 10:56 a.m. ET (1456 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average <.DJI> was up 3.73 points, or 0.02 percent, at
21,641.47, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 1.97 points, or 0.08
percent, at 2,461.24.
    The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 5.37 points, or 0.09
percent, at 6,317.83.
    Apple's <AAPL.O> 0.8 percent rise was the biggest boost on
all three major indexes.
    Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the
consumer discretionary index's <.SPLRCD> 0.36 percent rise
leading the advancers.
    The financial sector <.SPSY> led the laggards with a 0.15
percent fall after results and forecasts on Friday by big banks
such as JPMorgan <JPM.N>, Citigroup <C.N> and Wells Fargo
<WFC.N> failed to excite investors.
    Bank of America <BAC.N>, Morgan Stanley <MS.N>, Goldman
Sachs <GS.N> will report results later this week.
    The Dow and the S&P hit record highs on Friday after weak
economic data dulled prospects of more interest rate hikes this
    Shares of BlackRock <BLK.N> fell 3.2 percent after the
world's biggest asset manager's quarterly profit came in below
expectations. [nL3N1K83O4]
    General Cable <BGC.N> jumped 10 percent after the cable
manufacturer announced on Sunday a review of strategic
alternatives that could include a potential sale of the company.
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,702
to 1,020. On the Nasdaq, 1,447 issues rose and 1,187 fell.

 (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
 ((tanya.agrawal@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging:

Keywords: USA STOCKS/ (UPDATE 3)

This article appears in: World Markets , US Markets , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: AAPL ,

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