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US STOCKS-Wall St holds near record high with earnings in focus

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 17:10 hrs

* UTX lifts Dow industrials, but Dow off intraday record high

* Biotech weighs on healthcare sector

* Netflix falls short on new subscribers, stock slides

* China signals support for growth, buoys global shares

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 off 0.2 pct; Nasdaq down 0.4 pct

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 hit an intraday record high on Tuesday before slipping in a tight-range session, while the Dow industrials got a lift from upbeat earnings.

The S&P biotech subindex fell 1.6 percent a day after hitting an all-time high. The S&P healthcare index slipped 0.3 percent and ranked among the worst performers of the 10 industrial sectors in the S&P 500.

Shares of United Technologies, the world's largest maker of elevators and air conditioners, hit an all-time high of $105.50 and led the Dow's advance after the company raised the low end of its 2013 earnings forecast. At midday, the stock was up 2.4 percent at $104.59.

The Dow also reached an intraday record high shortly after the opening bell, within a few minutes of the S&P 500's jump to its all-time intraday high.

If the S&P 500 ends Tuesday's session with a decline, that would be only the second down day in the last 14 for the benchmark index. The S&P 500 has gained about 19 percent for the year.

"Valuations are decent, there's positive monetary pressure, earnings are just OK ... it's hard to get people excited but the market keeps grinding higher," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.

"It will be slow over the summer, but the market will have an upward bias."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.16 points or 0.12 percent, to 15,563.71, the S&P 500 lost 2.85 points or 0.17 percent, to 1,692.68 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.66 points or 0.41 percent, to 3,585.73.

Netflix Inc shares dropped 5.2 percent to $248.29 a day after the movies and TV streaming service reported it had gained new subscribers in the second quarter, but not enough to impress investors.

Of the 130 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far this season, 63.8 percent have beaten analysts' expectations, but 51.5 percent have fallen short on revenue forecasts. Over the past four quarters, 67 percent of companies have beaten earnings estimates.

Shares of Apple Inc slid 0.8 percent to $422.83 ahead of the tech bellwether's earnings report after the closing bell. Apple is expected to post a smaller quarterly profit.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, Cisco Systems said it will buy software maker Sourcefire Inc for about $2.7 billion to increase its network security services. Sourcefire shares surged 27.8 percent to $75.50, while Cisco's stock dipped 0.1 percent to $25.68.

Shares of Phillips 66 Partners shot up 30.7 percent to $30.11 in their first day of trading. The initial public offering of 16.4 million shares was priced at $23 per share. Phillips 66 rose 2.8 percent to $59.59.

Global stock indexes advanced after China's President Xi Jinping said the country must deepen reforms to address a slew of challenges confronting it, according to comments published on Tuesday that emphasize the government's determination to restructure the slowing economy.




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