US STOCKS-Wall St rises as strong Netflix, Goldman earnings impress

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* Goldman Sachs Q1 profit boosted by trading revenue

* Surge in subscription helps Netflix results

* Automakers rise after China's plans to open auto market

By Sruthi Shankar

April 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes rose on Tuesday asstrong earnings from Netflix, Goldman Sachs and healthcarecompanies boosted optimism over what is expected to be thestrongest earnings season in seven years.

NetflixNFLX.O shares surged 6.2 percent after thevideo-streaming pioneer smashed analysts' quarterly subscriberestimates, helped by a blitz of original content. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1RT5Q4

Goldman SachsGS.N rose 0.6 percent after the investmentbank's quarterly profit blew past Wall Street's expectations,powered by a surge in trading revenue and higher fees from debtand equity underwriting. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1RU4M9

"The reports were pretty good and should help the overallmarket," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist atSlateStone Wealth in New York.

"As you go forward, financials seem to be one of the logicalplaces to be invested in, especially in a rising interest rateenvironment. It's the matter of markets finally having attentiondrawn away from the political (news)."

Analysts expect profit at the S&P 500 companies to rise 18.6percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase in sevenyears, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI wasup 0.92 percent at 24,799.54. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.67percent to 2,695.89 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.92percent to 7,222.07.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.3percent gain in the consumer discretionary index .SPLRCD .

UnitedHealthUNH.N jumped nearly 5 percent after thelargest U.S. health insurer raised its earnings forecast andposted results that beat Wall Street estimates. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1RU457

J&J JNJ.N fell 0.4 percent, reversing course frompremarket after the company reported a better-than-expectedprofit and raised its full-year sales forecast. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1RU4RQ

The earnings season has helped take away some focus fromgeopolitical and trade concerns, which have roiled the marketsin recent months.

Shares of automakers Fiat Chrysler FCAU.N , General MotorsGM.N and Ford F.N rose between 0.2 percent and 3 percentafter China said it was scrapping a limit on foreign ownershipof automotive ventures. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1RU3MO

A U.S.-led attack on Syria over the weekend has so far notprompted any military retaliation from Russia, easing fears overthe conflict escalating.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a2.46-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq, for a 2.25-to-1 ratio. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by ShounakDasgupta) ((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 2238780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6328; Reuters Messaging:sruthi.shankar.reuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , US Markets

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