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US STOCKS-Wall St treads water after mixed earnings; Netflix in focus

* Johnson & Johnson rises after beat-and-raise quarter

* Bank of America falls as revenue misses estimates

* Netflix gains after brokerage upgrades

By Amy Caren Daniel

April 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks treaded water on Tuesday,as a surge in healthcare companies fizzled out and ahead ofearnings reports from other big names including Netflix.

Johnson & JohnsonJNJ.N pared gains and was up 1.8%, whileinsurer UnitedHealth Group IncUNH.N reversed course to tradedown 4.5%, pulling the healthcare sector .SPXHC 1.1% lower.

Both the Dow components beat quarterly estimates and raisedtheir forecasts, but UnitedHealth was weighed down by concernsover the impact of a possible overhaul of the rebate system.

"There has been plenty of volatility below the surface,where UnitedHealth's earnings saw the stock drop back sharplyafter the open, robbing the Dow of most of its gains, as policyuncertainty saw investors take the chance to exit the stock,"said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

Bank of America CorpBAC.N declined 0.6% after quarterlyrevenue fell short of expectations. The results come afterGoldman Sachs Group IncGS.N and Citigroup IncC.N on Mondayalso disappointed with quarterly revenue misses.

"Investors are now, it seems, bored of U.S. bank earningsand are keen to see what Netflix has to offer, with earningsfrom the streaming giant likely to spark greater volatility thanthose from Bank of America."

Of the 42 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 81%have topped estimates, above the 76% average of the past fourquarters, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts now expect S&P 500 companies to post a 1.8%year-on-year decline in profits, an improvement from the 2.3%fall expected a week ago, but still the first annual decline inearnings since 2016.

At 12:42 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 34.89 points, or 0.13%, at 26,419.66. The S&P 500 .SPX was up 2.77 points, or 0.10%, at 2,908.35 and the NasdaqComposite .IXIC was up 28.44 points, or 0.36%, at 8,004.45.

Real estate .SPLRCR fell 1.9%, the most among the fivemajor sectors trading lower.

Investors are hoping that the earnings season will helpsustain a rally on Wall Street after a slump late last year. TheS&P 500 index .SPX remains within a percent of its closingrecord high hit in September.

Among other stocks, J.B. Hunt Transport Services IncJBHT.O fell 5% after the transport and logistics provider'sfirst-quarter results fell short of estimates.

Netflix IncNFLX.O rose 3%, after Deutsche Bank upgradedthe streaming company's shares to "buy".

International Business Machines CorpIBM.N , also scheduledto report after the bell, gained 0.74%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.34-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and a 1.56-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 51 new 52-week highs and four newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 81 new highs and 31 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) ((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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