* Nasdaq outperforms broader market as Apple gains
* Disney profit beats expectations, Whole Foods ups outlook
* Analysts see value in sectors tied to economic growth
* Indexes: Dow flat; S&P up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on
Wednesday, boosted by financial and technology sectors, and were
set to scale fresh highs as a rally continued for a fifth
The S&P 500 financial sector index rose 0.5 percent
with JPMorgan Chase up 1.4 percent at $49.84. It was
among the top gainers on the Dow index.
Technology stocks also outperformed the broader market,
boosting the Nasdaq index. Apple shares rose more than
1 percent after falling in the previous session.
Wall Street had started off lower as investors locked in
profits after four days of gains which 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.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.85 points,
or 0.01 percent, at 15,057.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.75 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,628.71. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.63 points, or 0.28
percent, at 3,406.26.
Boosting the Nasdaq, Apple shares rose 1.1 percent to
$463.50 and Google Inc rose 1.7 percent to $871.49.
Among bank stocks, Bank of America shares rose 1.1
percent to $13.04 and Citigroup Inc was up 1.3 percent at
The S&P has climbed 2.7 percent over the past four sessions,
and is up about 14 percent this year. Both the S&P and the Dow
closed at new highs on Tuesday, with the Dow ending above 15,000
for the first time ever.
"While the U.S. equity market is widely believed to be
tracking ahead of economic growth, broad market valuations are
fair and not at extremes, implying still further upside," said
Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth
Wall Street hasn't yet undergone a sustained decline this
year as investors have bought on market declines. Robust
corporate results and accommodative monetary policies by the
Federal Reserve have buoyed the market's gains, which have
recently been led by cyclical sectors tied to the pace of
"We have a lot of interest in energy and material names at
these levels," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of
Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "Both seem like big
growth areas that are undervalued."
Late on Tuesday, Dow component Walt Disney Co
reported earnings that beat expectations and revenue that was up
10 percent, while Whole Foods Market Inc reported a
rebound in same-store sales and raised its full-year profit
Shares of Disney dipped 1.6 percent to $64.95 while Whole
Foods advanced more than 10 percent to $102.72.
J.C. Penney Co Inc reported another quarter of steep
sales declines, though investors were cheered that the troubled
department store posted cash levels that implied it had gone
through less money than feared. The stock rose 6.5 percent to
$17.45 but remains down about 13 percent on the year.
AOL Inc fell 9.5 percent to $37.50 after reporting
earnings that missed expectations, though revenue rose more than
Earnings have largely been better than expected this
quarter, with about 68.5 percent of S&P 500 companies surpassing
estimates so far. At the same time, revenues have been