February 6, 2020 / 5:10 PM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St up for fourth day as China moves to limit coronavirus impact

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* China to halve extra tariffs on some U.S. imports

* Twitter advances as quarterly revenue tops $1 bln

* Kellogg declines after earnings outlook disappoints

* Indexes up: Dow 0.26%, S&P 0.30%, Nasdaq 0.55% (Changes quote, adds details; updates prices)

By Medha Singh

Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Thursday on China’s efforts to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, while investors assessed a mixed batch of corporate earnings.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials scaled new highs at the open as China said it would halve extra tariffs on some U.S. goods, as it looks to prop up an economy hit by shutdowns and travel restrictions due to the outbreak.

“The fear investors had when the virus first started seems to have abated somewhat,” said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Markets have rallied this week as a string of positive U.S. economic data has helped mitigate worries, putting the S&P 500 on course for its best week in eight months.

Latest data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low in the prior week. It comes ahead of the crucial U.S. jobs report on Friday.

However, the impact of the health emergency in China continued to show up in corporate reports. Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc flagged a potential threat to the mobile phone industry from the outbreak. Its shares fell 2%.

At 11:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26% to 29,367.66.

The S&P 500 gained 0.30% to 3,344.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 52.15 points, or 0.55%, at 9,560.83.

Eight of the 11 major indexes were higher, led by a 0.6% gain for consumer staple stocks.

More than 70% of 305 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have exceeded quarterly earnings estimates, according to IBES data form Refinitiv.

An 8.8% slide in Becton, Dickinson and Co weighed the most on the S&P 500 after the medical technology company lowered its full-year revenue and profit forecasts.

Kellogg Co tumbled 7.9% after it forecast full-year earnings well below market expectations.

Philip Morris International Inc gained 4.1% after the Marlboro cigarettes maker topped quarterly profit estimates.

Twitter Inc gained about 17.3% after the micro-blogging platform touched $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.12-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 58 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 98 new highs and 28 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Sankar in Bengaluru Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)

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