* Intel up despite revenue warning
* Financial shares lower after BofA results
* FDA approves Vivus weight-loss drug, stock jumps
* EMC rallies on VMWare exec shuffle
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday
as corporate profits from bellwethers including Intel and
Honeywell continued to defy the downward trend of economic
Corporations nonetheless are cautious about a slowing
economy, pushing traders to bet on further stimulus from the
U.S. Federal Reserve. That expectation is seen as giving the
market support as it discourages bets against market gains.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke repeated in
Congressional testimony Wednesday and Tuesday the Fed's pledge
to act if needed as he underscored his concerns over the
Honeywell Inc profits topped consensus views amid
what it called a "tough macroeconomic environment" and its 6.7
percent advance to $58.17 led gains on the S&P industrial
Top chipmaker Intel Corp reduced its growth
forecast also on macro concerns but gross margins were healthy
and the stock rose 2.8 percent to $26.08 and boosted technology
shares. The PHLX semiconductor index jumped 3 percent a
day after hitting its 2012 low.
"The theme coming out in earnings is companies are coming in
short in revenue but still beat on earnings. Analysts have moved
their targets (lower) and companies still are lean and mean and
are able to generate profit," said Kim Forrest, senior equity
research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
She said the market "really, really wants QE3," or more
monetary stimulus from the Fed. "Bernanke is painting a dire
picture and the bulls in the market are holding out for more Fed
Data storage equipment maker EMC Corp also boosted
tech shares with an 9.1 percent gain to $25.01 after it replaced
the head of its VMware Inc unit and reported a
preliminary second-quarter profit. VMWare shares gained 9.9
percent to $88.20.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66.30 points,
or 0.52 percent, to 12,871.84. The S&P 500 Index gained
6.39 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,370.06. The Nasdaq Composite
added 26.51 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,936.55.
Financials underperformed the broad S&P 500, with the sector
slipping 0.3 percent. Bank of America Corp lost
2.4 percent to $7.73 after it posted a decline in revenue.
Vivus Inc shares jumped 16.4 percent to $30.80
after regulators approved the company's weight-loss drug.
Groundbreaking on new U.S. homes rose in June to its fastest
pace in over three years, lending a helping hand to an economy
that has shown worrisome signs of cooling.