* Microsoft sees end to Nokia losses, shares rise
* Apple shares up after earnings; leads S&P 500
* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct
(Updates prices, adds details, comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 23 The S&P 500 hit a record high
on Wednesday, lifted by bullish earnings from companies like
Apple and Microsoft, though technical resistance and conflicts
in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept gains in check.
The S&P touched a record above 1,989 but the 1,985-1,990
area was developing into technical resistance, analysts said.
News of two Ukrainian fighter jets being downed Wednesday,
near the area where a passenger jet was shot down last week,
added to caution on markets.
"What we have today is a testing of the (resistance level)
on the S&P," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at
Wunderlich Securities in New York.
"With the addition of the fighter jets being downed in
Ukraine, people are looking at the market and can't seem to find
a way to break through."
Hogan said higher-than-average revenue beats by companies
that have reported so far this quarter pointed to a stronger
About 64.3 percent of S&P 500 components have reported
revenue exceeding analyst expectations, above the 61 percent
beat rate since 2002 and 55 percent over the past four quarters.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 7.32 points, or
0.04 percent, to 17,106.22, the S&P 500 gained 5.1 points
or 0.26 percent, to 1,988.63 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 21.89 points or 0.49 percent, to 4,477.90.
Apple shares jumped 2.8 percent to $97.37 even as
it reported a smaller-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly
revenue Tuesday. Sales surged 28 percent in greater China
despite stiff competition in its third-largest market.
Microsoft shares rose 1 percent to $45.26 a day after it
said it aimed to get its loss-making Nokia phone unit to break
even within two years.
Boeing reversed a premarket gain and fell 2.2 percent
to $126.86 even as it reported a 52 percent jump in quarterly
profit on higher commercial aircraft deliveries. Boeing was the
heaviest drag on the Dow industrials.
PepsiCo rose 3.3 percent to $92.07 after it reported
a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year
adjusted earnings forecast.
Biogen Idec reported sharply higher-than-expected
quarterly revenue on surging sales of its new treatment for
multiple sclerosis and raised its full-year profit forecast.
Shares were up 10.9 percent at $336.93.
Intuitive Surgical rose 13.4 percent to $444.75 a
day after reporting second-quarter earnings that were better
than its dismal first quarter, though it was still its fifth
straight quarterly decline.
Puma Biotechnology shares soared 264 percent to
$214.95 a day after it said its experimental breast cancer drug
met its main goal in a late-stage trial.
In a blow to Israel's economy, U.S. and European air
carriers halted flights to Tel Aviv, citing concern over a
militant rocket from Gaza that hit a house near the city's
airport. Israel urged reconsideration of the decision, saying
its air space was safe.
In Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian
fighter jets not far from where a Malaysian passenger jet was
brought down in eastern Ukraine, a spokesman for Ukraine's
military operations said Wednesday.
The first bodies of victims from the downed Malaysian
airliner arrived in Eindhoven. Many of the 298 deceased were
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)