* Netflix and Coach soar after results top forecasts
* China data disappoints, shows little growth in
* DuPont and Travelers raise quarterly dividends
* Dow up 1 pct, S&P 500 up 1 pct, Nasdaq up 1.2 pct
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on
Tuesday as strong earnings from Travelers Cos Inc and
others put shares on track for a third straight day of gains,
though worries about the strength of the global economy were not
far from investors' minds.
Earnings drove Wall Street's 1 percent advance, with Netflix
Inc and Coach Inc among the S&P 500's top
percentage gainers. Netflix soared 25.3 percent to $218.52,
while Coach jumped 11 percent to $56.16. Both companies posted
profits that beat expectations. Netflix also reported strong
The S&P's index of information technology stocks
gained 1.5 percent, while Apple rose 1.7 percent to
$405.39 ahead of its results, due after the closing bell. Tech
has lagged other S&P 500 sectors in the last month as investors
sought more defensive areas.
Earnings season has been largely positive, with more than
68.9 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported results so
far beating expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. In
a typical quarter, 63 percent surpass estimates.
Still, there have been a number of high-profile
disappointments, including IBM and General Electric Co
In general, solid topline revenue growth has remained
elusive, said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president of BB&T
Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
"The earnings that are being delivered are through
efficiency and productivity," Hellwig said. "If I'm a
businessman, I'd rather have my company's sales growing than
making more money through cost cutting."
Analysts see earnings growth of 2.1 percent this quarter, up
from expectations of 1.5 percent at the start of the month.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 143.61
points, or 0.99 percent, to 14,713.70. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index rose 15.89 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1,578.39.
The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 39.29 points, or 1.22
percent, to 3,272.84.
Equities have steadily advanced in 2013, leading many
analysts to call for a correction, although major indexes have
rebounded off declines. Still, data pointing to economic
weakness in the United States and China have raised questions
about whether the rally will continue.
A round of business surveys on Tuesday suggested major
economies around the world lost some momentum in April. Among
the day's data was a report that showed growth in U.S.
manufacturing was at its most sluggish in six months.
Data due later in the week is expected to show the economy
accelerated in the first quarter, but that pace is not expected
to last with recent data suggesting growth backed off heading
into the spring.
A softer second quarter is already baked into market
expectations, Hellwig said, adding that strength will need to
pick back up in the second half of the year.
Travelers Cos Inc helped propel the Dow higher,
jumping 2.3 percent to $86.51 as earnings surged past
expectations. The insurer also raised its dividend.
Texas Instruments Inc shares shot up 3 percent to
$35.86 after the company said improving demand for its chips
would lead to growth in the current quarter, while DuPont's
adjusted earnings beat expectations. DuPont, a Dow
component, also raised its dividend, sending its stock up 3.4
percent to $52.12.