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* Bank of America, Goldman Sachs rise after results
* Financials gain the most among S&P 500 sectors
* UAL posts Q4 profit beat, lifts airline shares
* British PM May’s no confidence vote expected at 2 p.m. ET
* Indexes up: Dow 0.57 pct, S&P 0.44 pct, Nasdaq 0.67 pct (Updates to open)
By Medha Singh
Jan 16 (Reuters) - Bank stocks drove Wall Street to a one-month high on Wednesday after strong earnings from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, with a multi-billion dollar deal in the fintech sector adding to the boost.
Goldman Sachs climbed 5.1 percent after topping quarterly revenue estimates on strength in equity trading, while Bank of America Corp jumped 5.4 percent after posting a quarterly profit that beat estimates on growth in loan book.
Their results drove a 1.23 percent gain in the financial sector, the most among the six major S&P sectors trading higher, while the S&P banking subsector rose 1.57 percent.
“The fact that JPMorgan and Citi laid the groundwork for bank earnings not being as bad as markets thought made it easier for Goldman and Bank of America,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co posted quarterly results on Tuesday, and while markets were initially disappointed their shares ended the day 1 percent higher.
The benchmark S&P 500 index, which had hit a 20-month low in December, is now about 12 percent away from its record closing high on Sept. 20, helped by optimism over U.S.-China trade deal and hopes of a slow pace of rate hikes.
Also helping sentiment was a $22 billion buyout offer by financial technology provider Fiserv Inc for First Data Corp, the largest deal in the financial technology sector.
First Data Corp shares soared 16.4 percent, while those of Fiserv fell 7.8 percent.
“This (the deal) counters the recession argument and that makes you think that the market has over discounted the slowing that’s going on in the world,” Antonelli said.
United Airlines rose 7.1 percent after reporting a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street expectations, lifting shares of other airlines.
At 9:47 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 138.25 points, or 0.57 percent, at 24,203.84, the S&P 500 was up 11.59 points, or 0.44 percent, at 2,621.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 47.22 points, or 0.67 percent, at 7,071.05.
S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 14 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings, lower than the 20.1 percent growth forecast in October, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The energy sector fell 0.18 percent as crude prices dipped on worries about the global economy and forecasts of swelling U.S. production hurt sentiment.
Nordstrom Inc shares slid 6.7 percent, the most among S&P 500 companies, after forecasting full-year profit at the lower end of its prior estimates.
Also on tap is a no confidence vote for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government at 2:00 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) after an overwhelming defeat of her Brexit deal by the parliament left Britain’s exit from the European Union in chaos.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a summary of the state of U.S. business across the central bank’s 12 regional districts, is also expected at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.43-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.67-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additonal reporting by Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Anil D’Silva)