* Blue chips: Travelers up after results, J&J slips
* Google, IBM and Texas Instruments to report after the bell
* Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P 500 up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.01 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 22 Cyclical sectors led the
Standard & Poor's 500 to a five-year intraday high on Tuesday as
traders gobbled up bank and commodity shares on hopes the global
economy continues to mend.
The market also gained on signals that Republican leaders in
the U.S. House of Representatives aim on Wednesday to pass a
nearly four-month extension of the U.S. debt limit. The White
House welcomed the move on Tuesday, saying it defuses fears of a
U.S. default on its debt.
Adding to the upbeat sentiment, Portuguese 10-year debt
yields fell below 6 percent for the first time since late 2010
on news that the country was set to tap the bond market this
week for the first time since it was bailed out in 2011.
"Cyclicals underperformed late last year because of the fear
of the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling," said Jack de Gan,
chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp, in Portsmouth,
He said overall better economic numbers in the United States
and China, as well as more stabilization in Europe, were driving
buyers into sectors associated with economic growth.
Gains were limited, however, as investors were cautious
ahead of an increase in earnings reports and the S&P 500 was
rising for the fifth straight day.
"Not very often do you go very far beyond that in the short
term," De Gan said, "so any (bearish) news could turn us down
for a day or so."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.43 points or
0.35 percent, to 13,697.13. The S&P 500 gained 4.18
points or 0.28 percent, to 1,490.16. The Nasdaq Composite
added 0.25 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 3,134.96.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold led gains in the
materials sector after it reported a 16 percent rise in
fourth-quarter profit on higher production. Shares gained 5.4
percent to $35.44.
Technology shares underperformed as concerns about Apple's
ability to continue to grow at hyper speed and a weak
outlook from Intel Corp have diminished optimism about
the sector's prospects. The S&P technology index was
off 0.2 percent.
Major tech companies scheduled to report results after the
market's close on Tuesday include Google Inc, IBM
and Texas Instruments. Tech bellwethers Apple
and Microsoft Corp are set to report earnings later
"Any one of those, if there is a big surprise up or down,
could shift the balance in the markets. So investors are being
far more cautious than normal, especially with the market
averages having broken out to five-year highs," said Fred
Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co, in Lake
Four Dow components have already reported earnings Tuesday,
and three rose on the results. Insurer Travelers was the
standout, climbing 2.1 percent to $77.93.
Blue chips DuPont, the largest U.S. chemical company
by market capitalization, and Verizon Communications also
posted revenue that beat forecasts.
DuPont's shares gained 1.6 percent to $47.74 while Verizon's
rose 0.4 percent to $42.73.
On the downside, shares of Johnson & Johnson, the
diversified health company, slipped 0.8 percent to $72.66 after
it forecast 2013 earnings below expectations.
Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning showed that of
the 74 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so
far, 62.2 percent have topped expectations, roughly even with
the 62 percent average since 1994, but below the 65 percent
average over the past four quarters.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are forecast to
have risen 2.6 percent. That estimate is above the 1.9 percent
forecast from the start of earnings season, but well below the
9.9 percent fourth-quarter earnings forecast from Oct. 1, the
U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion
jumped 11.3 percent to $17.63 a day after its chief executive
said the Canadian company may consider strategic alliances with
other companies after the launch of devices powered by RIM's new
BlackBerry 10 operating system.