* S&P 500, Nasdaq on track for six-day advance
* Netflix up after results, Facebook gains on update
* Allergan soars as Ackman and Valeant bid for company
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct
(Updates to open, adds housing data)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 22 U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday,
with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on track for a sixth straight
day of gains as a number of bellwether companies reported strong
Netflix Inc surged 7.1 percent to $373.13 a day
after results showed strong subscriber growth, a sign the
trading favorite still had room to grow despite recent concerns
over its valuation.
Also helping lift the Internet space was Facebook Inc
, which rose 2.3 percent to $62.64 after Credit Suisse
upgraded the social networking company to "outperform."
Dow components Travelers Cos Inc and United
Technologies Corp both reported first-quarter earnings
that beat expectations, and United Tech raised the low end of
its full-year profit outlook. Shares of Travelers rose 0.7
percent to $87.04 while United Tech was up 1 percent at $119.49.
On the downside, McDonald's Corp reported earnings
that fell alongside a drop in U.S. same-store sales. Shares of
the Dow component fell 0.2 percent to $99.45.
Better-than-expected earnings have lifted equities recently,
though companies have largely been exceeding reduced forecasts.
Profits are seen rising 1.1 percent this quarter, down from the
6.5 percent growth rate estimated at the start of the year.
"The season has been better than many have feared, which is
helping investors feel comfortable with the pace of economic
growth, now just in the first quarter but going forward," said
Joseph Tanious, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset
Management in New York.
With 20 percent of the S&P having reported, 63 percent have
topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data,
even with the long-term average. On revenue, 51 percent have
exceeded forecasts, below the 61 percent long-term average.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 57.83 points,
or 0.35 percent, at 16,507.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 7.23 points, or 0.39 percent, at 1,879.12. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 29.53 points, or 0.72
percent, at 4,151.08.
Both the S&P and Nasdaq are on track for a sixth straight
day of gains. The S&P has gained 3.5 percent over that period
while the Nasdaq is up 3.8 percent.
In company news, Allergan Inc jumped 17.5 percent to
$166.75 a day after activist investor William Ackman teamed up
with Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Inc to bid for the company.
General Motors Co filed a motion in a U.S. bankruptcy
court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects
in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class
action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction. Shares
of the automaker rose 0.7 percent to $34.21.
In the latest economic data, existing home sales fell to
their lowest level in more than 1-1/2 years in March, though the
decline was narrower than expected.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski)