October 31, 2017 / 3:30 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Consumer staples lead gains on Wall Street

* Mondelez, Kellogg higher after results

* All three indexes on track to record monthly gains

* Under Armour slumps after results

* FOMC to start two-day policy meeting

* Indexes up: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.11 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Upbeat earnings from consumer companies Mondelez and Kellogg put the benchmark S&P index on track for its best monthly gains since February.

Mondelez jumped 5.5 percent on Tuesday after the Oreo cookie maker reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, while Kellogg surged 6.5 percent following its first quarterly sales increase in more than two years.

The rise helped the S&P consumer staples index gain 0.70 percent.

“Earnings have been the key driver,” said Jeff Carbone, managing partner at Cornerstone Financial Partners.

“We’re going through a period without any major pullbacks and that must be warranted to the economic data and earnings.”

The indexes also found support from a rise in technology shares. Apple Inc gained 1.2 percent to a record high after strong reviews of its much-anticipated iPhone X.

Intel hit a 17-year high after report Apple has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm Inc.

Qualcomm was down 7 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq.

The earnings season is being closely tracked to justify stretched valuations in stocks and results so far have been largely above expectations.

With more than half the S&P 500 components reported, third-quarter earnings are estimated to have climbed 7 percent, up from an expectation of a 5.9-percent growth at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Investors are waiting for an announcement on the next Federal Reserve chair. Sources have told Reuters that President Donald Trump is likely to pick Fed Governor Jerome Powell as the next head. Powell is seen as more dovish than other contenders.

The Federal Open Market Committee starts its two-day meeting in Washington on Tuesday to discuss interest rates where it is widely expected to leave rates unchanged.

At 10:54 a.m. ET (1454 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 15.25 points, or 0.07 percent, at 23,363.99, the S&P 500 was up 2.9 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,575.73 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 25.10 points, or 0.37 percent, at 6,724.06.

The Nasdaq and the Dow were also on pace to post their best monthly gains since February.

Six of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, with technology and financials close behind consumer staples.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see some rotational changes as we’re over the worst period,” said Carbone.

Pfizer’s shares fell 1.22 percent despite the drugmaker’s profit beat and upbeat forecast.

Under Armour Inc slumped about 15 percent after the company slashed 2017 forecasts and reported its first quarterly fall in revenue since going public.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,664 to 1,067. On the Nasdaq, 1,813 issues rose and 868 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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