* Amgen gains, Twitter falls following results
* Oct consumer confidence reading highest since 2007
* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 1.3 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose in afternoon trading on Tuesday as better-than-expected earnings eased worries about the outlook for corporate America and a consumer confidence reading hit the highest since 2007.
Amgen’s stock was up 5.1 percent, among the top boosts for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, following its results and forecast, while energy shares bounced back sharply from big declines Monday. The S&P 500 energy index was up 1.6 percent, leading S&P sector gains.
Helping the day’s upbeat tone, U.S. consumer confidence rose in October to its highest since October 2007. The data overshadowed a separate report showing new orders for capital goods by U.S. businesses fell the most in eight months in September.
The majority of U.S. companies reporting third-quarter results have beaten analysts’ expectations so far, easing some worries about the impact of weak global demand on corporate profits.
“Companies are managing to outperform in a period when the global economy is slowing,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. “If the euro zone were to further slip into recession, that would take us into another chapter.”
Investors were awaiting clues on the outlook for the U.S. economy from the Federal Reserve as the central bank commenced a two-day policy meeting. It is likely to reinforce expectations it will wait a long while before rising interest rates, although the Fed is all but certain to announce the end of its massive bond-buying stimulus.
The small-cap Russell 2000 index outperformed large-cap indexes, jumping 2.2 percent. The index is up more than 8 percent in the past 11 sessions.
Among the day’s most actively traded stocks, Twitter shares fell 9.1 percent after it posted a slide in a closely watched measure of engagement, even as its user base grew in the third quarter.
At 2:22 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average rose 92.95 points, or 0.55 percent, to 16,910.89, the S&P 500 gained 12.88 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,974.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 58.45 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,544.38.
News this week of the release from hospital of two Texas nurses who had been treated for Ebola helped to calm worries about Ebola’s spread in the United States.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Cummins , which rose 6.6 percent, following its results, while the largest decliner was Kohl‘s, which fell 7.1 percent following its forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,370 to 664, for a 3.57-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 2,068 issues rose and 605 fell for a 3.42-to-1 ratio.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 51 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 111 new highs and 27 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)