* Google, IBM climb on strong results
* Apple slides after the bell, Netflix shares jump
* Coach shares plummet after weak quarterly sales
* Dow up 0.5 pct, S&P up 0.15 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 23 The S&P 500 rose for a sixth
day on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected profits from IBM
and Google but the rally could be halted as Apple's after-hours
miss sent its shares lower.
The S&P was just 4.7 percent from its all-time closing high
as IBM's and Google's earnings, released after Tuesday's close,
followed on the heels of stronger U.S. economic data.
"People were kind of nervous about earnings coming into this
quarter but numbers have shown so far strength in earnings,"
said King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset
Management in San Francisco.
But Apple, still the largest U.S. publicly traded
company, fell 8 percent in extended trading after sales of its
flagship iPhone came in below analyst targets and quarterly
revenue slightly missed Wall Street expectations.
"One thing that stands out is the company's ballooning
balance sheet, where they now have $137 billion dollars in cash
and investments," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist
at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut. "You've got to wonder
when they're going to put some more of that to work."
Declining issues beat advancers in both the NYSE and Nasdaq
during regular market hours, in a sign the market's rally may be
overstretched. The broad Russell 2000 index closed the
day down 0.3 percent after earlier hitting and intraday historic
high just below 900 points.
Shares in IBM Corp, the world's largest technology
services company, climbed 4.4 percent during regular market
hours to $204.72, providing just about all of the Dow's 67-point
Also helping the tech sector was a 5.5 percent jump in
Google Inc to $741.50. The Internet search company
reported its core business outpaced expectations and revenue was
higher than expected.
The S&P technology sector rose 1.2 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67.12 points or
0.49 percent, to 13,779.33, the S&P 500 gained 2.25
points or 0.15 percent, to 1,494.81, and the Nasdaq Composite
added 10.49 points or 0.33 percent, to 3,153.67.
The benchmark S&P 500 is a mere 0.35 percent away from
hitting 1,500, a level not seen since Dec. 12, 2007.
S&P 500 futures fell 4.1 points, or 0.3 percent,
while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 20 points or 0.7 percent.
Netflix shares soared 32 percent, above $136, after
the video subscription service said it added subscribers in the
United States and abroad and posted a quarterly profit.
LED maker Cree Inc jumped 22 percent to $40.85
after it forecast a higher-than-expected third-quarter profit,
and reported results above analysts' estimates.
Upscale leather goods maker Coach Inc plunged 16.4
percent to $50.75 after reporting sales that missed
Clearing a market hurdle, the U.S. House of Representatives
passed a Republican-led plan to extend the country's borrowing
authority until mid May. This delays a confrontation in Congress
similar to one in 2011, which generated a stalemate that
triggered the first-ever U.S. debt rating downgrade.
Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday showed that of the 99
S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 67.7
percent have topped expectations, above the 65 percent average
beat over the past four quarters.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings rose 2.8 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data. That estimate is above the
1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season.
Top U.S. manufacturers sounded a confident note about their
expectations for 2013 on Wednesday as fears of the year-end
"fiscal cliff" faded into memory.
In the regular session, about 6.1 billion shares changed
hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT,
below the 2012 daily average of about 6.45 billion.
On the NYSE, roughly 15 issues fell for every 14 that rose
and on Nasdaq seven declined for every five gainers.