* Microsoft jumps nearly 4 pct and leads the Dow's advance
* U.S. earnings growth scaled back, Alcoa drops on revenue
* Department store J.C. Penney's stock falls after CEO
* Dow up 0.6 pct, S&P 500 up 0.6 pct, Nasdaq up 0.7 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - Blue-chip technology stocks
led Wall Street higher, lifting the Dow to a record intraday
high by early afternoon trading on Tuesday after investors used
the morning's modest decline as an opportunity to buy.
Microsoft shares ranked as the Dow's top percentage
gainer, up 3.9 percent at $29.72. Intel Corp shares
shot up 3.1 percent to $21.74, and helped push the semiconductor
index up 1.1 percent. Hewlett-Packard rose 1.5
percent to $22.25.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 14,700 to
touch a fresh intraday record high.
The three major U.S. stock indexes fluctuated between gains
and losses in the morning as forecasts for U.S. first-quarter
earnings have been scaled back. Profits are seen rising just 1.5
percent from a year-ago quarter, according to Thomson Reuters
data. In January, earnings were forecast to rise 4.3 percent.
Recent data have shown the U.S. economy is growing but at a
slow pace. The March payrolls report showed jobs creation was
less than half of what economists had expected.
Analysts said, however, that the market has the momentum to
push indexes higher, even with the Dow Jones industrial average
up about 12 percent and the S&P 500 up about 10 percent for the
"The economy is still moving in the right direction, just
less speedily than we want to see," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief
economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.81 points,
or 0.57 percent, at 14,697.29, after earlier reaching a record
intraday high at 14,706.52. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 9.04 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,572.11. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 23.70 points, or 0.74
percent, at 3,245.95.
Alcoa Inc, the first Dow component to release
results, reported a higher quarterly profit but
lower-than-expected revenue after the bell on Monday. Shares of
the largest U.S. aluminum producer dipped 0.2 percent to $8.37.
J.C. Penney was the S&P 500's largest percentage
loser as its stock tumbled 11.5 percent to $14.05 after the
department store's board ousted Chief Executive Ron Johnson and
replaced him with his predecessor.
Though Penney's board may not face serious legal challenges,
shareholders may question whether the move to replace Johnson
with Myron Ullman, who Johnson himself replaced in late 2011, is
good for them.
Shares of nutritional company Herbalife fell 4.1
percent to $36.83 after the company announced KPMG had resigned
as Herbalife's independent accountant after one of its senior
partners engaged in insider trading in Herbalife stock.
Earlier, the stock was halted from trading after the New
York Times reported KPMG would resign.
In the tech sector, Microsoft, Nokia and other
companies have stepped up requests to European Union antitrust
regulators to take action against Google, accusing it
of blocking competition in mobile telephony.
U.S.-listed shares of Nokia gained 3 percent to
$3.39. Google shares added 0.9 percent to $781.87.