Wall Street rises as strong Netflix, Goldman earnings impress

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(Reuters) – Wall Street indexes rose on Tuesday as strong earnings from Netflix, Goldman Sachs and healthcare companies boosted optimism over what is expected to be the strongest earnings season in seven years.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Netflix (NFLX.O) shares surged 6.2 percent after the video-streaming pioneer smashed analysts’ quarterly subscriber estimates, helped by a blitz of original content.

Goldman Sachs (GS.N) rose 0.6 percent after the investment bank’s quarterly profit blew past Wall Street’s expectations, powered by a surge in trading revenue and higher fees from debt and equity underwriting.

“The reports were pretty good and should help the overall market,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in New York.

“As you go forward, financials seem to be one of the logical places to be invested in, especially in a rising interest rate environment. It’s the matter of markets finally having attention drawn away from the political (news).”

Analysts expect profit at the SP 500 companies to rise 18.6 percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.92 percent at 24,799.54. The SP 500 .SPX gained 0.67 percent to 2,695.89 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.92 percent to 7,222.07.

Nine of the 11 major SP sectors were higher, led by a 1.3 percent gain in the consumer discretionary index .SPLRCD.

UnitedHealth (UNH.N) jumped nearly 5 percent after the largest U.S. health insurer raised its earnings forecast and posted results that beat Wall Street estimates.

JJ (JNJ.N) fell 0.4 percent, reversing course from premarket after the company reported a better-than-expected profit and raised its full-year sales forecast.

The earnings season has helped take away some focus from geopolitical and trade concerns, which have roiled the markets in recent months.

Shares of automakers Fiat Chrysler (FCAU.N), General Motors (GM.N) and Ford (F.N) rose between 0.2 percent and 3 percent after China said it was scrapping a limit on foreign ownership of automotive ventures.

A U.S.-led attack on Syria over the weekend has so far not prompted any military retaliation from Russia, easing fears over the conflict escalating.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 2.46-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq, for a 2.25-to-1 ratio.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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