* DuPont gains on profit beat
* Yahoo rises on profit and revenue beat
* Automakers rise after Trump meeting
* Indexes up: Dow 0.18 pct, S&P 0.23 pct, Nasdaq 0.25pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street edged higher on Tuesday, led by technology and materials stocks, as the corporate earnings season kicked into high gear.
Investors are also seeking more clarity on President Donald Trump’s economic policies.
“We are now in a phase where the policies need to come to fruition to justify the move we have seen in the post-election period,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at Private Client Group of U.S. Bank.
“I believe that the market’s focus has shifted a bit back to fundamentals and the fourth-quarter earnings season, which at this point has started off on a reasonably positive note.”
Profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 6.6 percent in the latest quarter - marking the strongest growth in three years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
However, the Trump rally has contributed to somewhat lofty valuations. The S&P 500 is trading near 17.7 times forward 12-month earnings, compared with the 10-year median of 14.7.
At 11:05 a.m. ET (16054 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 35.64 points, or 0.18 percent, at 19,835.49, the S&P 500 was up 5.22 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,270.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 13.81 points, or 0.25 percent, at 5,566.75.
Speaking to chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, Trump said he wanted to see new auto plants built in the United States, while reiterating his plans to cut taxes and regulations.
GM and Ford’s stocks rose more than 1 percent, while Fiat Chrysler was up 5.5 percent.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, driven by a 1.9 percent rise in materials. DuPont rose 3.4 percent following a profit beat.
IBM was the top stock on the S&P 500 and the Dow, rising 2.3 percent.
Yahoo rose 3.3 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon should be completed in the second quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,844 to 930. On the Nasdaq, 1,401 issues rose and 1,214 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 63 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)