Politics

US STOCKS-Wall St higher on earnings optimism ahead of Trump speech

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* Tech, consumer discretionary boost S&P 500

* Ralph Lauren up after revenue beats estimates

* Alphabet falls on higher spending worries

* Indexes up: Dow 0.45 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.41 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Medha Singh

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Technology and consumer discretionarystocks lifted Wall Street on Tuesday, as upbeat results fromEstée Lauder and Ralph Lauren fueled earnings optimism, ahead ofthe highly awaited State of the Union address by PresidentDonald Trump.

Leading gains on the S&P 500 was cosmetics maker EstéeLauder Cos IncEL.N which jumped 12.21 percent, followed byluxury fashion group Ralph Lauren Corp'sRL.N 8.98 percentrise, after both their quarterly reports exceeded expectations. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20020Turn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2002BO

Alphabet IncGOOGL.O wrapped up FAANG earnings by postingbetter-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit. However,worries about sharply higher spending, sent its shares down 0.8percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZZ1M2

Google parent's shares were the only FAANG stock in the red.A 1.4 percent rise in Apple IncAAPL.O boosted the technologyindex .SPLRCT , while Amazon.com Inc'sAMZN.O rise of 1.2percent pushed the consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD higher.

"It's been a pretty good earnings season, whether it'stop-line or bottom-line numbers — there's still growth. The barhas been lowered and companies are able to step over thehurdle," said Chad Oviatt, director of investment management forHuntington Private Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

"When you look at tech companies you see them forecastinggrowth and that can be seen from their capital spending planswhich came out of the Google's earnings report."

Also helping the market was Boeing Co'sBA.N 2 percentrise after the planemaker said it made a significant investmentin supersonic business jet developer Aerion. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2002YS

Following a turbulent end to 2018, U.S. stocks have had astellar run this year with the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX andblue-chip Dow Industrials .DJI up about 9 percent, and thetech-heavy Nasdaq rising 11 percent.

The rally has been helped by a recent dovish stance from theFederal Reserve, hopes of a trade deal between the United Statesand China and a largely positive fourth-quarter earnings season.

About 71 percent of the S&P 500 companies, that havereported earnings, have topped estimates. While expectations forfourth-quarter earnings growth are 15.8 percent, estimates forthe first-quarter are much lower at 0.4 percent, according toIBES data from Refinitiv.

Trump is set to challenge Democrats to approve funding forhis long-sought border wall before the Congress at his State ofthe Union speech due at 09:00 p.m. ET (0200 GMT Wednesday).

The President has contemplated declaring a nationalemergency as the Congress wasn't moving towards a deal to fundbuilding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but a source closeto Trump said the President was not expected to take thatstep. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZZ1MN

At 12:51 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up113.48 points, or 0.45 percent, at 25,352.85, the S&P 500 was up4.58 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,729.45 and the NasdaqComposite .IXIC was up 29.79 points, or 0.41 percent, at7,377.33.

Bank stocks fell and pulled the financials sector .SPSY down 0.5 percent, weighing the most on the S&P 500 as yields onthe 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds slipped. US/

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.35-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and a 1.21-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and no new lows,while the Nasdaq recorded 48 new highs and 10 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting byAmy Caren Daniel; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta) ((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1646 223 8780,outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging:medha.singh.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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