* Greek parliament votes in favor of austerity measures
* Citigroup hits 6-year high on strong results
* Netflix, eBay hit record highs after results
* Goldman Sachs, UnitedHealth drag on Dow after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.66 pct, Nasdaq 1.05 pct (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
July 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose sharply on Thursday, with the Nasdaq composite touching a three-week high, as bellwether companies such as Citigroup, eBay and Netflix reported strong results.
Netflix rose as much as 16.6 percent to a record high of $114.45, a day after the company added nearly a third more subscribers than expected in the second quarter. The stock propelled the Nasdaq 100 to a record high.
Investor confidence was also bolstered after the Greek parliament voted in favor of austerity measures to reopen talks for a third bailout.
“Now that Greece has been taken care of for the time being, the focus has shifted to what’s happening on the ground in the U.S.,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
“While U.S. equities are fully valued at the moment, if companies are not able to fulfill heightened expectations of stronger earnings in the second half of the year, we will see some more sideways action.”
The S&P 500 currently trades at 16.8 times forward 12 months earnings, above the 10-year average of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.
Still, U.S. companies are expected to post their worst sales decline in nearly six years in the second quarter, while profit is expected to have fallen 2.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters estimates. But expectations are low.
Of the 45 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 71 percent have beat expectations, above the 63 percent that beat in a typical quarter. But, 51 percent have beaten revenue estimates, below the 61 percent average.
“Quarterly earnings are just a confirmation process and what this season confirms is that we are in a modest growth and modest inflation environment,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis, Missouri.
At 12:11 p.m. ET (1611 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 36.34 points, or 0.2 percent, at 18,086.51. The S&P 500 was up 14.01 points, or 0.66 percent, at 2,121.41 and the Nasdaq composite was up 53.46 points, or 1.05 percent, at 5,152.40.
Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. The lone laggard was the materials index, down just 0.01 percent.
Citigroup reported its highest quarterly profit in eight years and its shares rose as much as 3 percent to a six-and-a-half year high of $58.18, giving the biggest boost to the S&P financial index.
Goldman Sachs was the biggest drag on the financial index as its shares slipped 1.3 percent to $210.25 after the bank reported its smallest quarterly profit in nearly four years.
UnitedHealth fell 1.9 percent to $123.52 and was the biggest drag on the Dow as analysts were disappointed with the largest U.S. health insurer’s higher-than-expected ratio of medical costs to premiums.
EBay jumped as much as 5 percent to a record high of $66.71 after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit and announcing the sale of its enterprise business.
Mattel and Google are scheduled to report after markets close.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,221 to 782. On the Nasdaq, 1,898 issues rose and 796 fell.
The S&P 500 index posted 41 new 52-week highs and ten new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 158 new highs and 39 new lows. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)