* McDonald’s down after revealing turnaround plan
* Berkshire up, gives biggest boost to S&P
* Fracking stocks fall after Einhorn comments
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
May 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Monday afternoon as Berkshire Hathaway led finance stocks higher, while shares of McDonald’s declined after the fast-food chain’s turnaround plan failed to satiate investors.
Berkshire rose 1.8 percent, giving the biggest boost to the S&P 500 after the insurance and investment conglomerate’s results beat forecasts.
At 2:20 p.m. the Dow Jones industrial average rose 67.43 points, or 0.37 percent, to 18,091.49, the S&P 500 gained 8.72 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,117.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 18.45 points, or 0.37 percent, to 5,023.84.
Eight of the 10 S&P sectors were positive, with the financials index gaining 0.82 percent and the utilities index 1.1 percent higher.
“We just seem to be hanging in an upper range, taking in a rash of earnings and trying to digest if the fundamentals are there to build a platform for us to leg-up from,” said Frank Davis, director of sales and trading at LEK Securities in New York, adding that he is skeptical of current stock prices.
With quarterly earnings reports winding down, Wall Street is trying to divine when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates. An April payroll report due on Friday could give a hint.
While new orders for U.S. factory goods recorded their biggest increase in eight months in March, the underlying trend remained weak against the backdrop of a strong dollar, a further sign that a rebound in economic growth would not be as strong as last year.
McDonald’s Corp fell 1.01 percent after its plan to turn the fast-food chain into a “modern, progressive burger company” failed to impress shareholders.
Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources Co fell 3.1 percent and the S&P 500 energy index was 1 percent lower after David Einhorn, the influential head of hedge fund Greenlight Capital, said at a conference that oil fracking companies can “contaminate portfolio returns.”
Cognizant hit an all-time high of $65.55 after the IT services provider reported a better-than-expected rise in revenue and raised its full-year forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,879 to 1,130, for a 1.66-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,691 issues rose and 1,031 fell for a 1.64-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 46 new highs and 27 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)