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Fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to have risen 8.2 percent – the best in nine quarters.
“We’ve been getting some back and forth between the new administration’s business-friendly policies versus the disruptions economically and politically from the immigration and trade-related issues,” said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede in Philadelphia.
“However, at the end of the day, the expansion is continuing, the economy and earnings are growing and that should support equities.”
A report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed trade deficit fell more than expected in December as exports rose to their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years, outpacing an increase in imports.
At 11:03 a.m. ET (1603 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 80.77 points, or 0.4 percent, at 20,133.19.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology .SPLRCT index’s 0.58 percent rise and industrials’ .SPLRCI 0.56 percent gain leading the advancers.
Shares of Michael Kors (KORS.N) dropped as much as 15.4 percent to a more than one-year low of $34.92, after the handbag maker cut its full-year revenue forecast.
Health insurer Centene (CNC.N) was up 5.3 percent at $66.99 following better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.
General Motors (GM.N) slipped 4.5 percent to $35.22 after the automaker said fourth-quarter net income fell partly because of $500 million in foreign exchange losses. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P.
Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) fell 1.9 percent to $30.48 after its quarterly revenue missed Wall Street expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,576 to 1,170. On the Nasdaq, 1,535 issues rose and 1,077 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 25 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 73 new highs and 25 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)