January 30, 2019 / 5:02 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Apple, Boeing lift Wall Street ahead of Fed decision

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* Apple jumps on robust services business growth

* Boeing gains after upbeat earnings, 2019 deliveries forecast

* Bank stocks flat ahead of FOMC policy decision

* Amazon boosts consumer discretionary stocks

* Indexes up: Dow 1.36 pct, S&P 0.77 pct, Nasdaq 0.95 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday, as Apple led a rally in technology shares and Boeing boosted sentiment with an upbeat forecast ahead of the Federal Reserve’s update on monetary policy.

The iPhone maker’s shares rose 5.4 percent after reporting a sharp growth in services business and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said trade tensions between the United States and China were easing.

The results assuaged worries after Apple cut current-quarter sales forecast earlier this month, blaming soft demand in China, whose economy has been dragged down by a trade war with the United States.

Boeing jumped 6.7 percent after the world’s largest planemaker forecast full-year profit and cash flow above analysts’ estimates.

“For Apple, there was certainly more focus on the weakness in China and now investors seem more positive as a lot of the bad news had been factored in,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“Positive earnings are definitely encouraging for markets today.”

Investors are awaiting the Fed’s policy statement at 2 p.m. ET, with the central bank expected to keep interest rates unchanged.

Worries that the central bank would raise rates swiftly had spooked markets late last year. Since the selloff peaked in December, many policymakers have indicated that they would be “patient” about further tightening.

“The market can expect the statement to acknowledge the new theme of patience, which should mean that the gradual rate hiking forward guidance of previous statements is tempered down,” Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP wrote in a note.

The S&P 500 banks index was trading flat.

Investors are also tracking the latest round of talks between Washington and Beijing that began on Wednesday, the highest-level meeting since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce to their trade war in December.

At 11:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 333.18 points, or 1.36 percent, at 24,913.14. The S&P 500 was up 20.31 points, or 0.77 percent, at 2,660.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 66.90 points, or 0.95 percent, at 7,095.19.

All the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, boosted by positive earnings reports.

Of the 168 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 73.2 percent have topped profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc jumped 15.6 percent after the chipmaker reported record quarterly growth in data center sales and projected 2019 revenue growth above Wall Street estimates.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose about 1 percent, while the S&P technology index gained 1.65 percent.

The S&P consumer discretionary index rose 1.2 percent, boosted by a 3.2 percent gain for Amazon.com Inc .

Weighing on the communication services index was a 3.8 percent drop in AT&T Inc after the wireless carrier’s quarterly revenue and new wireless subscribers fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.52-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.43-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 14 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 17 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila)

Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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