Wall Street gains after strong start to earnings season

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By Arjun Panchadar and Sagarika Jaisinghani

(Reuters) – Wall Street rose 1% on Tuesday as strong earnings from JPMorgan, UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson allayed concerns about the fallout from a prolonged U.S.-China trade war on Corporate America.

All three major stock indexes hit three-week highs after quarterly results from some of the largest U.S. banks showed strong consumer confidence in the face of recession fears that had led businesses to pull back on spending.

Hopes that Britain and the European Union would reach a deal in time for a leaders’ summit this week also brightened sentiment.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:) hit a record high, and lifted the S&P 500 banking sector to its highest level in a year.

UnitedHealth Group Inc (N:) was set to post its best day in eight years, while Johnson & Johnson (N:) shares eyed their biggest one-day percentage gain since January after both companies raised their profit forecasts.

The stocks were among the top boosts to the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes, and lifted the S&P healthcare sector () to a three-week high. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher.

“If this earnings season turns out to be better than expected, we can end up with a scenario that there won’t be pressure on the labor market and that keeps us away from a recession,” said Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New York.

Analysts have forecast the worst quarterly profit performance in about three years for S&P 500 companies, with industrials among those most at risk from the trade dispute.

Wall Street has been rattled over the past 15 months by tit-for-tat tariffs by the United States and China, with the impact already reflecting in the domestic economy. After solid increases in the first quarter, gains in the three main U.S. stock indexes have tapered off.

At 1:07 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 266.87 points, or 1.00%, at 27,054.23. The S&P 500 () was up 33.80 points, or 1.14%, at 2,999.95 and the Nasdaq Composite () was up 104.24 points, or 1.30%, at 8,152.89.

Shares of mobile game developer Glu Mobile (O:) jumped 10.7% as the company is set to replace SolarEdge Technologies (O:) in the S&P SmallCap 600.

BlackRock Inc (N:), the world’s biggest asset manager, rose 2.7% after its quarterly profit beat estimates.

Shares of Roku Inc (O:) surged 9.3% after the television streaming platform said Apple Inc’s (O:) TV app was available on its platform and Apple TV+ would be available after it was launched.

Bank of America (N:), which is due to report results on Wednesday, jumped 2.9% after a report that Warren Buffett was seeking leeway from the Federal Reserve to increase its stake in the bank beyond 10%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.47-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.92-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 56 new lows.

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