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US STOCKS-Wall Street approaches record high on earnings optimism


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(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Coca-Cola gains on profit beat, forecast raise

* United Tech gains on quarterly profit beat

* Trump, U.S. Congress leaders reach deal on debt limit

* Indexes: Dow +0.58%, S&P 500 +0.56%, Nasdaq +0.37% (Updates to afternoon)

By Noel Randewich

July 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq approached recordhighs on Tuesday, lifted by upbeat quarterly reports fromCoca-Cola and United Technologies, while a debt ceiling andbudget deal between President Donald Trump and Congress alsobuoyed sentiment.

The U.S. corporate earnings season is off to a strong start,with nearly 80% of 104 S&P 500 companies topping earningsexpectations so far in the second quarter, according toRefinitiv IBES data.

Coca-Cola CoKO.N surged 5.6% to a record high after thefizzy drink maker beat quarterly earnings expectations andraised its full-year organic revenue forecast. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2LU

Fellow Dow component United Technologies CorpUTX.N gained1.2% after raising its full-year profit and sales outlook. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2LN

The two-year federal spending between Trump and U.S.congressional leaders would avert a feared government defaultlater this year, but add to rising budget deficits. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N24N0H5

"The reaching of a debt ceiling agreement is positive newsfor all sectors at large, because it's one additional questionthat gets removed from the outlook for growth and equities ingeneral," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investmentstrategy at E*Trade Financial in New York.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates at itspolicy-setting meeting next week have made investors morewilling to buy stocks, helping push the S&P 500 and Nasdaq onTuesday to less than 1% from record highs set earlier thismonth.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to signal easiermonetary policy when it meets on Thursday.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast forglobal growth this year and next, warning that more U.S.-Chinatariffs, auto tariffs or a disorderly Brexit could slow growthfurther. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N24N1B8

At 2:19 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI wasup 0.58% at 27,328.79 points, while the S&P 500 .SPX gained0.56% to 3,001.88.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.37% to 8,234.22.

Quarterly reports from top-tier growth companies FacebookInc FB.O on Wednesday, and Amazon.com IncAMZN.O andAlphabet Inc GOOGL.O , both on Thursday, were also in focus onWall Street.

"If they disappoint on earnings, that could have a negativeimpact on (wider) share prices because they represent such alarge portion of the market," said CFRA chief market strategistSam Stovall.

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are now expected torise about 1% in the second quarter, according to Refinitiv,improving from a small decline estimated previously.

The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY rose 1.1%, while thematerials index .SPLRCM climbed 1.7%.

Travelers Companies IncTRV.N fell 2.0% after theinsurer's second-quarter profit missed estimates, asweather-related losses led to an 18% drop in underwriting gain. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2K4

Hasbro IncHAS.O surged 8.78% and was the biggest gaineramong S&P 500 companies, after the toymaker reportedbetter-than-expected quarterly revenue. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2HF

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a1.70-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and three new lows;the Nasdaq Composite recorded 44 new highs and 103 new lows.

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Coca-Cola's coffee and zero sugar soda mix lifts 2019 goals,
shares     urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2LU
United Tech profit beats on aircraft parts demand after MAX
grounding    urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24O2LN
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(Reporting by Noel Randewich;Additional reporting by Karina Dsouza and Amy Caren Daniel;Editing by Lisa Shumaker) ((noel.randewich@tr.com; Twitter handle: @randewich (415) 6772542; Reuters Messaging:noel.randewich.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))






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



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