April 12, 2018 / 7:14 PM / 7 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St gains on earnings optimism as Syria jitters dissipate

* Trump says possible attack on Syria may not be imminent

* Financials gain as bond yields rise

* Delta rises, boosts other carriers after strong results

* Indexes up: Dow 1.3 pct, S&P 0.9 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline, adds dateline NEW YORK)

By April Joyner

NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) - Technology and financial stocks boosted Wall Street on Thursday as U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that a military strike on Syria may not be imminent and investors turned their focus to the upcoming earnings season, which is projected to deliver the strongest results in seven years.

Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that a possible attack on Syria could occur “very soon or not so soon at all,” easing fears of confrontation with Russia.

That lifted U.S. Treasury yields, leading to a 2.0 percent increase in financial stocks, which had the biggest percentage advance among the S&P’s 11 major sectors.

The technology sector rose 1.4 percent, adding the most gains to the S&P.

“The markets are up today on the clear pullback of threats of striking Syria, or at least the delay thereof,” said Oliver Pursche, vice chairman and chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York.

Strong quarterly results from BlackRock Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc added to the sanguine mood among investors.

Delta topped profit estimates, sending its shares 2.9 percent higher and boosting other airline stocks.

BlackRock gained 1.8 percent after the asset manager’s profit rose more than expected.

The earnings season begins in earnest on Friday with reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo & Co.

Analysts expect quarterly profit for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.4 percent from a year ago, the biggest gain in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“There is a hopeful optimism that a very solid earnings quarter will settle things down and allow stocks to move higher,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 324.09 points, or 1.34 percent, to 24,513.54, the S&P 500 gained 24.64 points, or 0.93 percent, to 2,666.83 and the Nasdaq Composite added 77.80 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,146.82.

Investor sentiment was also boosted by a U.S. initial jobless claims report that pointed to sustained labor market strength.

Facebook was a notable laggard among technology stocks, falling 1.4 percent following a 5.3 percent gain over the past two days when Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress on the social network’s data security.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc shares dived 19.5 percent after the company’s full-year profit forecast missed estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.50-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq, for a 2.17-to-1 ratio. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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