* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1 pct, gaining ground for 3rd day
* Tech shares get Intel boost
* Banks among the top gainers, led by HSBC, BBVA, SocGen
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, July 15 European stocks rose to a
two-week high on Wednesday, as forecast-beating earnings from
Intel (INTC.O), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Goldman Sachs
(GS.N) reassured investors on the outlook for corporate profits.
At 0800 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top
European shares was up 1 percent at 848.36 points, gaining
ground for the third consecutive day.
Tech stocks were among the biggest gainers, with the DJ
STOXX European technology index .SX8P up 2.6 percent. Nokia
NOK1V.HE climbed 4.1 percent, Infineon (IFXGn.DE) advanced 4.1
percent and STMicroelectronics (STM.PA) put on 4.5 percent.
Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA, upgraded to "buy" by Banc of
America Merrill Lynch, surged 7.2 percent.
"Upward pressure on the share price will come from those
investors who buy into the new management at Alcatel-Lucent, and
from the fact that margins will likely move from negative to
positive over the course of this year helped by seasonality
and initial impact of cost-cutting," Banc of America Merrill
Lynch analysts wrote in a note.
After the bell on Wall Street on Tuesday, Intel Corp's
(INTC.O) quarterly results and outlook trumped analyst forecasts
on better-than-expected consumer demand for PCs, especially in
Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs also pleased investors
on Tuesday with better-than-expected results.
However, Goldman's strong results are not necessarily a
preview of what to expect from all the banks, said Marie-Pierre
Peillon, head of equity and credit research at Groupama Asset
Management, in Paris.
"We're in the process of making the distinction between the
winners and the losers. Goldman is one of the winners, but other
banks are still struggling," she said.
BRACING FOR MORE EARNINGS
Banking stocks were in positive territory, with Deutsche
Bank (DBKGn.DE), HSBC (HSBA.L), BBVA (BBVA.MC) and Societe
Generale (SOGN.PA) up 1.2-2.7 percent.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index .FTSE was up 0.9
percent, Germany's DAX index .GDAXI up 1.4 percent, and
France's CAC 40 .FCHI up 1 percent.
Mining and steel stocks also gained ground, bolstered by
rising metal prices. Xstrata XTA.L gained 3.3 percent, Rio
Tinto (RIO.L) added 2.7 percent and ArcelorMittal ISPA.L
climbed 2.8 percent.
So far this year, the DJ STOXX basic resources index .SXPP
is up 38 percent, the banking index .SX7P is up 22 percent and
the tech index .SX8P is up 14 percent.
Optimism about a burgeoning economic recovery sparked a
sharp stock rally during the spring, propelling the FTSEurofirst
300 up 38 percent, but mixed macro data and rekindled doubts
over the outlook for corporate results halted the rally last
month, with the FTSEurofirst 300 down 4.7 percent since June 10.
Investors were bracing from more earnings from global
companies due later this week, with Google (GOOG.O), IBM
(IBM.N), JPMorgan (JPM.N) reporting on Thursday, and Bank of
America (BAC.N), Citigroup (C.N) and General Electric (GE.N)
reporting on Friday.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Simon Jessop)