February 5, 2019 / 3:15 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St gains ahead of Trump's State of the Union address

* Alphabet falls on higher spending worries

* Estée Lauder gains on raising FY forecast

* Ralph Lauren up after 3rd-qtr revenue beats estimates

* Trump’s State of the Union speech due at 9 p.m. ET

* Indexes up: Dow 0.42 pct, S&P 0.25 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct (Updates to open)

By Medha Singh

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Tuesday boosted by consumer discretionary and technology companies amid peak earnings, which have largely been positive so far, while investors wait for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

The S&P 500 is eyeing its fifth straight session of gains after a recent dovish stance from the Federal Reserve and on hopes that a trade deal between the United States and China could be reached.

Estée Lauder Cos Inc jumped 11.6 percent as the cosmetics maker raised its annual forecast while luxury fashion group Ralph Lauren Corp rose 9.7 percent after its quarterly revenue and profit beat estimates.

About 71 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings have topped estimates. While estimates for fourth-quarter earnings growth are 15.4 percent, expectations for the first-quarter are much lower at 0.5 percent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Alphabet Inc wrapped up FAANG earnings by posting better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit. However, worries about sharply higher spending, sent its shares down 0.8 percent.

Google parent’s shares were however the only one among the FAANG stocks in the red. Apple Inc rose 1.8 percent and pushed the tech index 0.8 percent higher, while Amazon.com boosted the consumer discretionary sector.

“Where there was a shortfall in Google it was for the right reason. We’d rather have companies reinvest in their businesses, because you’re spending on the future of the company,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“We’re in a wait-and-see mode over the State of the Union to see if any news will be broken, and that tends to put us in a quieter trading environment.”

Trump is set to challenge Democrats to approve funding for his long-sought border wall before the Congress at his State of the Union speech due at 09:00 p.m. ET (0200 GMT Wednesday).

The President has contemplated declaring a national emergency as the Congress wasn’t moving towards a deal to fund building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but a source close to Trump said the President was not expected to take that step.

At 9:41 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 104.81 points, or 0.42 percent, at 25,344.18, the S&P 500 was up 6.75 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,731.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 33.11 points, or 0.45 percent, at 7,380.64.

The defensive consumer staples sector, utilities and real estate sectors were all in the red.

Following a turbulent end to 2018, U.S. stocks have had a strong run this year with the benchmark S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow Industrials up more than 8 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rising 10.7 percent.

However not all earnings were positive. Seagate Technology Inc slipped 4.9 percent after the hard drive maker gave a downbeat current-quarter forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.95-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and three new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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