US STOCKS-Wall St boosted by earnings; on track for best week of year
* Amazon tumbles, Microsoft climbs after earnings
* New home sales climb to six-year high
* Indexes: Dow up 0.43 pct, S&P off 0.32 pct, Nasdaq up 0.21 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Friday, as earnings from Microsoft and Procter & Gamble coupled with easing concerns over the possible spread of Ebola in the United States helped put the S&P on track to snap a four-week losing skid.
Microsoft was up 1.7 percent at $45.91, after it reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue while keeping its profit margins largely intact.
Fellow Dow component Procter & Gamble gained 2.7 percent to $85.49 and was also one of the biggest boosts to the S&P 500, after the world's largest household products maker posted quarterly results and said it would split its Duracell battery business into a separate company.
But Amazon plunged 8.1 percent to $287.74 as the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 after the online retailer's sales projections for the crucial holiday quarter disappointed Wall Street and third-quarter results missed forecasts.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday morning, of 205 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 69.8 percent have topped analyst's expectations, above the 63 percent rate since 1994 and the 67 percent rate for the past four quarters. On the revenue side, 59.8 percent have beaten expectations, slightly below the 61 percent rate since 2002 but above the 58 percent rate for the past four quarters. Continuación...