August 21, 2018 / 2:21 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rises on trade, earnings optimism

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* Homebuilders rise after strong results from Toll Brothers

* Medtronic jumps after better-than-expected results

* Coty drops on rare sales miss, TJX jumps on strong sales

* Bank stocks rise ahead of Fed’s minutes on Wednesday

* Indexes up: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.38 pct, Nasdaq 0.57 pct (Updates to open)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Aug 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes rose on Tuesday, with the S&P closing in on its all-time high, helped by some encouraging earnings reports and optimism that planned trade talks between the United States and China would help resolve their trade spat.

The optimism pushed the small-cap Russell 2000 index up as much as 0.82 percent to a record high. At its session high, the S&P 500 was 0.14 percent shy of its record hit on Jan. 26.

President Donald Trump told Reuters he does not expect much progress from the mid-level trade discussions later this week. Still, the trade-sensitive S&P industrial sector gained 0.67 percent.

Trump also said he was “not thrilled” with the Federal Reserve for raising rates and that the central bank should do more to help him boost the economy. That pushed the dollar lower and propped up prices of metals and crude oil.

The energy sector, rose 0.98 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors. The materials index was up 0.65 percent.

“There is continued optimism falling through from yesterday that things cannot be all that bad. So the focus is now on the economy,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC, Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“Today will probably be on the quiet side, drifting a little higher, but overall what we are going to see ahead is an upward trend mixed with some choppy, erratic trading.”

At 9:58 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 87.40 points, or 0.34 percent, at 25,846.09, the S&P 500 was up 10.98 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,868.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 44.45 points, or 0.57 percent, at 7,865.46.

The minutes of Fed’s August policy meeting on Wednesday may indicate the central bank’s confidence in economic growth and commitment to future rate hikes. That comes ahead of the global central bankers’ meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Friday.

Shares of bank stocks rose. JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America and Citigroup and Morgan Stanley were up between 0.6 percent and 1 percent.

Among earnings, retailer TJX rose 4.5 percent, the most on the S&P, after topping quarterly comparable-store sales estimates and raising its full-year earnings forecast.

At the bottom of the S&P was Coty, which tumbled 10.1 percent after the beauty products maker missed sales estimates for the first time in six quarters.

Medtronic rose 4.6 percent after the medical device maker’s profit beat estimates.

Toll Brothers Inc jumped 11.4 percent after the luxury homebuilder reported better-than-expected quarterly results. PulteGroup, Lennar and D.R. Horton rose more than 3.5 percent.

Online brokers Charles Schwab, E*Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade tumbled between 3.5 percent and 6.4 percent after CNBC reported JPMorgan planned to roll out a free digital brokerage service next week.

Apple rose 0.1 percent to 215.60 after BofA Merrill Lynch raised its price objective on the iPhone maker to $250.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.32-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.91-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 92 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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