July 22, 2016 / 3:32 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St inches up, led by telecoms; GE holds back Dow

* Honeywell drops after cutting sales forecast

* AT&T, Verizon lead telecoms higher

* Indexes up: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.21 pct, Nasdaq 0.31 pct (Adds details, comments, updates)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

July 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq inched higher on Friday, led by telecom stocks, while the Dow was held back by industrials after GE’s disappointing results.

GE, long considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy, dropped 2.1 percent after its earnings report, while Honeywell fell 3.8 percent after lowering its full-year sales forecast.

GE was the biggest loser on the Dow and the top drag on the S&P 500. It led the industrials sector down 0.8 percent. Boeing and Caterpillar fell 1 percent.

“The markets are biding time to see what the next set of earnings bring,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

The weak results in the industrial sector was a “concern” and is a theme that markets could start to jump on, Bakhos said.

At 10:58 a.m. ET (1458 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 6.75 points, or 0.04 percent, at 18,523.98.

The S&P 500 was up 4.49 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,169.66.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 15.89 points, or 0.31 percent, at 5,089.80.

Eight of the 10 major S&P indexes were higher, led by the telecoms sector’s 1.6 percent gain.

AT&T was up 1 percent following its in-line results overnight. Verizon was up 1.3 percent. The company is the front-runner for Yahoo’s core business after outbidding others including AT&T, Reuters reported.

Yahoo was up nearly 1 percent.

The S&P 500 and Dow are trading at record highs on upbeat sentiment over second-quarter corporate earnings, with analysts now expecting smaller profit declines and more companies topping those estimates.

The S&P and the Nasdaq are on pace to mark their fourth-straight week of gains, while the Dow its third week.

Overall, analysts now expect earnings of S&P 500 companies to decline 3.3 percent in the quarter, less than the 5 percent drop estimated at the start of the earnings season.

Of the 103 S&P 500 companies that have reported as of Thursday, 67 percent have beaten estimates, slightly higher than the 63 percent over the whole of a typical quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,651 to 1,129. On the Nasdaq, 1,568 issues rose and 1,006 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 57 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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