* December trade deficit fell to $44.3 bln vs. est. $45 bln
* Michael Kors falls on weak results and forecast cut
* S&P less than five points away from all-time high
* Indexes up: Dow 0.33 pct, S&P 0.18 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal
Feb 7 The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the
Nasdaq Composite hit record levels at the open on Tuesday, while
the S&P 500 was less than five points away from hitting another
Investors are assessing corporate earnings to see if stock
valuations are justified after a post-election rally drove U.S.
equities to record highs.
Fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to have risen 8.1
percent - the best in nine quarters.
"We're a stone's throw away from all-time highs and the
market has been sitting in a relatively tight range, looking for
a fresh theme to commit capital," said Andre Bakhos, managing
director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
While Trump has promised tax cuts and higher infrastructure
spending, the lack of detail and his isolationist stance have
kept investors cautious. The S&P 500 index has not moved
more than 1 percent in either direction since Dec. 7.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq
Composite closed little changed on Monday, while the S&P
fell slightly as losses in energy companies weighed.
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 9:38 a.m. ET (1437 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 65.43 points, or 0.33 percent, at 20,117.85.
The S&P 500 was up 4.15 points, or 0.18 percent, at
2,296.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 11.81 points,
or 0.21 percent, at 5,675.37.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with
industrials' 0.41 percent rise leading the advancers.
Shares of Michael Kors dropped 12.8 percent to
$36.02 after the handbag maker reported disappointing third
quarter sales and cut its full-year revenue forecast.
Health insurer Centene was up 4.3 percent at $66.29
following better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.
General Motors slipped 3.3 percent to $35.68 after
the automaker said fourth-quarter net income fell partly because
of $500 million in foreign exchange losses.
Twenty-First Century Fox fell 1.3 percent to $30.67
after its quarterly revenue missed Wall Street expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,454
to 1,078. On the Nasdaq, 1,255 issues rose and 963 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 18 new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 44 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)