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US STOCKS-Wall St flat as healthcare decline counters chip boost

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* Qualcomm surges on surprise settlement with Apple

* Healthcare stocks fall for 2nd straight day

* IBM falls after revenue miss

* Dow up 0.03 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.10 pct (Changes comment, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar

April 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were tradingflat on Wednesday, as a Qualcomm-led rally in chipmakers wasoffset by a slide in healthcare stocks for the second straightsession, although quarterly earnings came in largely positive.

Qualcomm IncQCOM.O surged 10.3% after the company won amajor victory in its legal dispute with Apple IncAAPL.O thatcalled for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modemchips.

Data showed China's economy grew at a steady 6.4% pace inthe first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown.

This helped chipmakers, which get a huge portion of theirrevenue from China, rally. The Philadelphia chip index .SOX jumped 1.45%.

The S&P healthcare index .SPXHC tumbled 2% and was on paceto wipe out its yearly gains due to ongoing concerns aboutpotential changes to healthcare policy.

"Investors are kind of taking a step back. Q1 earnings havebeen fine, but there is still a decent amount of debate in themarket around where do we go this year in terms of economicgrowth," said Mike Dowdall, a portfolio manager with BMO GlobalAsset Management.

"We are going to have to see earnings expectations continueto increase and an even more positive outcome from trade."

Of the 54 S&P 500 companies that have posted results so far,about 80% have beaten estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

However, analysts now expect first-quarter S&P 500 profitsto drop 1.8% year-on-year. Though a solid improvement overrecent estimates, it would still mark the first earningscontraction since 2016.

United Continental Holdings IncUAL.O rose 4.2% afterreporting a better-than-expected jump in quarterly profit andfueled a 1.1% rise in the Dow Jones transport index .DJT .

At 11:08 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI wasup 7.04 points, or 0.03%, at 26,459.70. The S&P 500 .SPX wasdown 0.03 points, or 0.00%, at 2,907.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 7.97 points, or 0.10%, at 8,008.19.

The Nasdaq 100 .NDX touched a record intraday high,surpassing its highest level hit in early October.

Among other stocks, International Business Machines CorpIBM.N fell 2.6% after reporting a bigger-than-expected drop inquarterly revenue.

Morgan StanleyMS.N rose 2% after its quarterly profitbeat expectations, wrapping up earnings for big U.S. banks.

PepsiCo IncPEP.O gained 3% after its quarterly resultsbeat Wall Street estimates.

Netflix Inc shares NFLX.O dipped 0.1% in volatile trading.The video streaming service provider gave a weak forecast butbeat quarterly estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and for a 1.43-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 42 new 52-week highs and five newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 36 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel, Sruthi Shankar and ShreyashiSanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and ArunKoyyur) ((Amy.CarenDaniel@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S.+1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9250 ; ReutersMessaging: Amy.CarenDaniel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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