US STOCKS-Earnings, healthcare help lift Wall Street

martes 22 de abril de 2014 14:03 GYT

* S&P 500, Nasdaq on track for six-day advance

* Netflix up after results, Facebook gains on upgrade

* Allergan soars as Ackman and Valeant bid for company

* Indexes up: Dow 0.68 pct, S&P 0.67 pct, Nasdaq 1.13 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on track for a sixth straight day, buoyed by a host of solid earnings reports along with strength in the healthcare sector.

Netflix Inc surged 5.9 percent to $369.04 a day after showing strong subscriber growth, a sign the trading favorite still had room to grow despite recent concerns over its valuation. With the day's gain, the stock moved to the plus side for the year after a 21 percent drop in March.

Healthcare, up 1.5 percent, was the best performing of the 10 major S&P sectors, as Allergan Inc jumped 15.8 percent to $164.48 a day after activist investor William Ackman teamed up with Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to bid for the company. U.S.-listed Valeant shares gained 7.6 percent to $135.56.

Also providing support to the sector was a deal between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, in which the two companies traded over $20 billion worth of assets in an effort to cope with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition. U.S.-listed shares of Novartis gained 1.4 percent to $86.67 while shares of Glaxo trading in New York advanced 4.1 percent to $55.31.   Continuación...