* Google and IBM both rally after reporting results
* S&P 500 and Dow closed at five-year highs on Tuesday
* Apple results due after market closes
* Coach shares plummet after weak quarterly sales
* Indexes: Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Jan 23 U.S. stocks edged higher on
Wednesday as IBM and other tech companies continued a trend of
results that beat Wall Street's expectations and propelled the
market to a five-day advance.
Internet search company Google Inc added to the
advance, rising 5.1 percent to $738.65 a day after Google
reported its core business outpaced expectations. Revenue was
also higher than expected.
International Business Machines Corp late Tuesday
forecast better-than-anticipated 2013 results and also posted
fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The
results helped to allay concerns about the tech sector after
Intel Corp gave a weak outlook last week. IBM, the
world's largest technology services company, rose 3.8 percent to
"Tech companies are really shattering expectations, which is
obviously helping markets. There doesn't seem to be an end to
this rally," said Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at
LandColt Capital in New York.
But gains were limited in the S&P 500 a day after it closed
at a level not seen since December 2007. Many investors were
also holding off to see earnings from Apple Inc, the
most valuable U.S. company which was due to report after the
McDonald's edged higher 0.2 percent to $93.11 after
reporting a rise in fourth-quarter earnings, lifted by an
increase in same-store sales. United Tech's earnings
fell from the prior year, hurt by large restructuring charges.
Shares edged up at $87.91.
On the downside, Coach Inc slumped 15 percent to
$51.40 as the S&P's biggest percentage loser after reporting
sales that missed expectations.
After the market closes, investors will scour Apple's
results for signs the tech giant can continue to grow at an
accelerated pace. The stock has been pressured recently by
questions raised about demand for Apple's prospects. The stock
has fallen 5 percent since the start of the year, compared with
gains of 4.6 percent in the S&P 500. It rose 0.4 percent to
$507.04 on Wednesday.
"If Apple comes out with a blockbuster number, that would
reinforce the argument that stocks are poised to do well in the
first part of 2013," Schoenberger said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 55.48 points,
or 0.40 percent, at 13,767.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 0.06 points, or 0.00 percent, at 1,492.62. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.89 points, or 0.35
percent, at 3,154.06.
Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average hit
five-year closing highs on Tuesday, with recent gains largely
fueled by a strong start to the earning season.
According to the latest Thomson Reuters data, of the 74 S&P
500 companies 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 rose 2.6 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data. 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 data showed.
Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives aim
on Wednesday to pass a bill to extend the U.S. debt limit by
nearly four months, to May 19. The White House welcomed the
move, saying it would remove uncertainty about the issue.
The debt limit issue has hung over the market for weeks,
with many investors worried that if no deal is reached to raise
the limit, it could have a negative impact on the economy.