US STOCKS-Wall St extends gains a 5th day; banks and tech lead

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, May 08, 2013 19:30 hrs

* Nasdaq outperforms broader market as Apple gains

* Disney profit beats expectations, Whole Foods raises outlook

* Analysts see value in sectors tied to economic growth

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday, bolstered by the financial and technology sectors, putting the S&P 500 on track for a fifth session of gains.

The S&P 500 financial sector index rose 0.5 percent, with JPMorgan Chase & Co up 1.3 percent at $49.77. It was among the Dow's top percentage gainers.

Among the day's other top gainers, Whole Foods Market Inc reported a rebound in same-store sales and raised its full-year profit view. Its shares jumped 10.5 percent to $102.54.

Technology stocks also outperformed the broader market, lifting the Nasdaq index. Apple shares rose 0.9 percent to $462.85 after falling in the previous session.

The potential for the market to pause increases as the earnings reporting period winds down, said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston.

"Now that earnings are over and done ... there's no real fundamental reason to buy stocks," he said.

Results are in from about 440 companies so far. Earnings have largely been better than expected this quarter, with the majority of companies surpassing estimates.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 19.96 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,076.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.49 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,629.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.61 points, or 0.28 percent, at 3,406.24.

Wall Street had started the session lower as investors locked in profits after four days of gains that took equity indexes to new highs a day earlier. But the market rebounded in early morning trade as investors saw the dip as an opportunity to buy.

Google Inc gained 1.5 percent to $870 and helped buoy the Nasdaq.

Wall Street hasn't yet undergone a sustained slide this year as investors have bought on market declines. Robust corporate results and the Federal Reserve's accommodative monetary policies have supported the market's advance, which has recently been led by cyclical sectors tied to the pace of economic growth.

Late on Tuesday, Dow component Walt Disney Co reported earnings that beat expectations and revenue that rose 10 percent. Shares of Disney slipped 0.8 percent to $65.52.




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