* McDonald’s down after revealing turnaround plan
* Berkshire up, gives biggest boost to S&P
* Fracking stocks fall after Einhorn comments
* U.S. factory orders post largest gain in eight months
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street was up on Monday afternoon, adding to gains from Friday, as investors bought beaten-down healthcare stocks and Berkshire Hathaway led finance stocks higher.
Berkshire rose 1.8 percent to $145.98 and gave the biggest boost to the S&P after the insurance and investment conglomerate’s results beat forecasts.
Eight of the 10 S&P sectors were higher, with the finance index gaining 0.7 percent and the health index up 0.8 percent.
The Nasdaq biotech index was up 0.8 percent. The index lost 5.5 percent last week, despite a 2.9 percent rise on Friday.
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.
Over the past two weeks, the S&P 500 index has moved an average of 17.79 points daily, wider than the 12.43 point range in early March. The swings have amplified on mixed economic signals.
“The main event this week is the April unemployment numbers and that’s going to be the main driver for the markets,” said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York.
Aama reckons that the strong gains in the market in the past few weeks may be erased as a strong jobs number could put a June rate hike back into play.
The payroll report is scheduled for Friday.
At 13:37 p.m. EDT (1737 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 52.41 points, or 0.29 percent, at 18,076.47, the S&P 500 was up 6.39 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,114.68 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 14.78 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,020.17.
McDonald’s fell 0.9 percent to $96.87 after the company laid out initial plans for lure back customers and boost sales.
Cisco inched up 0.4 percent to $29.26 after the company said Chief Executive John Chambers would step down to become executive chairman.
Fracking product makers fell after Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn said such companies can “contaminate portfolio returns.”
Silica Holdings fell 2.2 pct to $36.81, Carbo Ceramics 6.4 pct to $41.15 and FMSA Holdings 7.8 pct to $7.90.
AMC Networks gained as much as 5.8 percent to hit a record high of $80.70 after its profit topped analysts’ expectations.
Cognizant also 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 1,762 to 1,244, for a 1.42-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,612 issues rose and 1,090 fell for a 1.48-to-1 ratio favoring advancers. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)