* Netflix surges 18 pct on strong subscriber growth
* UnitedHealth up on upbeat forecast, boosts health stocks
* CPI notches biggest gain in five months in September
* Indexes up: Dow 0.43 pct, S&P 0.62 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Oct 18 (Reuters) - The S&P and the Nasdaq were on track for
their best day this month on Tuesday as a slew of market-beating
results from marquee companies boosted optimism about Corporate
The spotlight was on the healthcare sector, which
rose 1.04 percent, the most in more than one month, after
UnitedHealth's upbeat forecast. UnitedHealth rose 6.3
percent and boosted its fellow health insurers.
Netflix, which dragged on the market on Monday
ahead of its results, was the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 on
Tuesday, rising nearly 19 percent after posting much
higher-than-expected subscriber growth.
Goldman Sachs rose 2.2 percent, lifting shares of
other banks, after the company's results blew past Wall Street
estimates, mirroring results at its Wall Street peers.
Of the 37 S&P 500 companies that have reported results until
Monday, 78 percent have reported earnings that have topped
analysts average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Analysts now estimate earnings of S&P companies slipped 0.1
percent in the third quarter, less than their earlier estimate
of a drop of 0.7 percent, raising hopes that a four-quarter
streak of negative earnings growth could be snapped.
"We're seeing the delta improve to the upside in this
earnings season and that sets the tone for the fourth quarter
performance," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at
U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
At 11:08 a.m. EDT (1508 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 77.49 points, or 0.43 percent, at
The S&P 500 was up 13.21 points, or 0.62 percent, at
2,139.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 52.14 points,
or 1 percent, at 5,251.97.
Even economic data helped boost sentiment. U.S. consumer
prices recorded their biggest gain in five months in September,
pointing to a steady build-up of inflation that could keep the
Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in December.
"The economy continues to show signs of improvement, with
the CPI data showing that there are signs of a modest level of
inflation creeping into the marketplace," Sandven said.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with only
the interest rate-sensitive utilities and telecom
services in the red.
Among the laggards was IBM, which fell 3.3 percent
after reporting its 18th straight quarter of revenue decline.
Johnson & Johnson was down 2.4 percent, while Pfizer
gained 0.8 percent on after it announced plans to ship a
cheaper biosimilar to Remicade, JNJ's top selling product. The
news overshadowed J&J's slight earnings beat.
Intel, scheduled to report after markets close,
rose 1.6 percent on a Barclays upgrade. Yahoo, also due
to report in the evening, was up 0.7 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,199
to 656. On the Nasdaq, 1,797 issues rose and 788 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed three new 52-week highs and one new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 38 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by