Wall Street edges higher as healthcare, bank stocks gain

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(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Tuesday as healthcare and bank stocks gained in the run up to the quarterly earnings season that is set to start later this week.

Stocks continued their winning streak as investors extended their bets on an improving economy and expectations of corporate profits that may get a boost from the tax cuts.

At 11:27 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 109.74 points, or 0.43 percent, at 25,392.74 and the S&P 500 was up 9.65 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,757.36.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 16.07 points, or 0.22 percent, at 7,173.45.

“I can see more of a sideways trending till the big macro releases and earnings season, which is just around,” said Tim Dreiling, regional investment director for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank.

Healthcare and financial stocks were the biggest gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors.

A 2.4 percent rise in Johnson & Johnson and a 5 percent jump in Boston Scientific helped the S&P health sector gain 0.9 percent.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Citigroup rose 1 percent and Bank of America and Goldman Sachs rose about 0.6 percent, tracking a rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, which hit a 10-month high after the Bank of Japan said it would trim its purchases of Japanese government bonds. [US/]

Investors are waiting for the start of the quarterly earnings season for more readings on the impact of recent tax cuts and profit forecasts.

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 11.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an 8 percent increase a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“Across the board, we’re positive about fourth quarter and the next few quarters. But it could be a little bit noisy after we got the tax reform law passed and companies make some adjustments close to year-end,” Dreiling said.

A handful of retailers including Target, Kohl’s Corp and Lululemon Athletica have already reported solid rise in same-store sales for the holiday period and raised their profit forecasts for the fourth quarter.

Advanced Micro Devices slipped 3.5 percent after Microsoft suspended patches to guard against security threats for computers running AMD chipsets after complaints that the software updates froze their machines.

GoPro fell 6 percent, extending losses from Monday after the action camera-maker flagged a weak holiday quarter that triggered sale talks. The company said it was not actively trying to sell itself but would be willing to partner with a larger sector player.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,579 to 1,216. On the Nasdaq, 1,429 issues fell and 1,400 advanced.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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