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US STOCKS-3M, Caterpillar lift Dow to record high
October 24, 2017 / 3:39 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-3M, Caterpillar lift Dow to record high

* Caterpillar, 3M surge after earnings beat Wall St est.

* Industrial sector biggest S&P gainer

* Biogen slumps after results; drags on healthcare sector

* Indexes up: Dow 0.81 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.22 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The blue-chip Dow Jones index was on track to record its biggest intraday percentage rise in more than a month on Tuesday, boosted by gains in industrial giants 3M and Caterpillar.

The maker of Post-It Notes jumped 6.12 percent and Caterpillar 6.07 percent after the two companies reported stellar quarterly results and gave upbeat forecasts.

The two stocks contributed nearly 140 points to the Dow’s 170 point rise.

United Technologies and McDonald’s also notched up gains after reporting results.

“At these levels, only companies that have both top-line and bottom-line beats could make the market move higher,” said Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The S&P industrial sector rose 0.75 percent, topping the 11 major S&P indexes. The sector has gained about 15 percent this year, in line with the broader S&P 500 index, but has underperformed sectors such as technology and healthcare.

“It offers some hope to investors that this rally will broaden out, which it needs to do, to sustain at these levels,” Heckler said.

Strong earnings and rising hopes of President Donald Trump’s tax plans moving forward have helped the Dow and S&P close at record highs on all five trading days last week.

At 11:02 a.m. ET (1502 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 188.55 points, or 0.81 percent, at 23,462.51, after hitting a record high of 23466.72.

the S&P 500 was up 4.39 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,569.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 14.78 points, or 0.22 percent, at 6,601.61.

However, gains in the S&P and the Nasdaq were kept in check by healthcare companies.

Biogen slipped 6.56 percent after reporting disappointing U.S. sales of Spinraza, a potential blockbuster drug.

Centene dipped 4.19 percent after saying that White House moves to cut off Obamacare subsidies would knock 7-12 cents per share off the health insurer’s fourth-quarter earnings.

That along with a 1.4 percent drop in Johnson & Johnson and a 2.5 percent decline in AbbVie made the healthcare index the worst performer among the S&P sectors.

Financial stocks also jumped 0.69 percent, led by gains in Bank of America and JPMorgan.

General Motors rose 2.50 percent after the No.1 U.S. automaker reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast and promised to slash stocks of unsold vehicles.

Whirlpool tumbled 10.02 percent after the home appliances maker reported profit and sales below estimates and lowered full-year earnings guidance.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,550 to 1,165. On the Nasdaq, 1,575 issues rose and 1,138 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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