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US STOCKS-Strong tech earnings, Apple lift Nasdaq higher
October 27, 2017 / 4:51 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Strong tech earnings, Apple lift Nasdaq higher

* Nasdaq on track to record its best day since Nov 2016

* Apple says iPhone X pre-orders high

* Chevron biggest drag on S&P, Dow

* Indexes up: Dow 0.13 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 2.02 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Strong earnings from tech giants and Apple’s upbeat statement on its iPhone X demand lifted the Nasdaq Composite index 2 percent and led the gains on Wall Street.

Amazon jumped as much 12.8 percent after reporting a quarterly sales surge. Google-parent Alphabet gained 6.4 percent as its revenue got a boost from advertising sales.

Microsoft advanced 7.3 percent after the world’s largest software company reported further gains from its cloud computing services.

Apple rose 3.4 percent after the company allayed concerns of muted demand for its 10th anniversary phone.

The gains drove the S&P technology index up about 3 percent. The sector has gained about 35 percent this year, double the gains in the broader S&P index.

“In many ways, we’re seeing the strong getting stronger,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

“While valuations are full, it certainly becomes imperative on them to deliver solid operating results and that’s something that we did see.”

Adding to the positive sentiment was the third-quarter GDP data that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth, despite a hurricane-led drop in consumer spending and construction activities.

A report about President Donald Trump favoring Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the head of the U.S. central bank also supported the stocks. In Powell’s appointment, investors see a continuation of the current stock market-friendly monetary policy.

At 12:24 p.m. ET (1624 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 30.2 points, or 0.13 percent, at 23,431.06, the S&P 500 was up 19.07 points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,579.47 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 132.19 points, or 2.02 percent, at 6,688.96.

The three indexes were on track to post weekly gains and the Nasdaq was poised to record its best intraday percentage gain in nearly a year.

Chevron’s 3.8 percent dip weighed on the S&P and the Dow after the oil giant’s profit missed estimates.

Merck slipped about 5 percent after the company reported a revenue drop due to a cyber attack and loss of market share for many of its older drugs.

Mattel plunged 14 percent after the toymaker said it would miss its full-year revenue forecast and stop dividend from the fourth quarter.

Expedia was slumped 18.4 percent after the online travel services company’s profit missed Wall Street’s consensus forecast.

Shares of drug distributors tumbled on a report that Amazon gained wholesale pharmacy license in multiple states.

CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid fell between 6 percent and 3.9 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,674 to 1,144. On the Nasdaq, 1,657 issues rose and 1,167 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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