* Deere hits record high on profit beat, lifts Caterpillar
* Autodesk among biggest gainers on S&P, Nasdaq
* Wal-Mart rises on BMO upgrade
* Indexes up: Dow 0.59 pct, S&P 0.74 pct, Nasdaq 0.72 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 19 U.S. stocks were higher late Friday
morning as a set of strong corporate earnings lifted investor
spirits in a week dominated by uncertainty surrounding Donald
However, Wall Street's major indexes were on track for their
worst weekly declines since mid-April following reports that
Trump had tried to interfere in a federal investigation.
Investors were concerned that the uncertainty in Washington
could hinder Trump's promise of fiscal stimulus, a bet on which
Wall Street has rallied to record highs.
Strong quarterly earnings from companies, including Autodesk
and Deere & Co, boosted the market. Autodesk was
among the biggest percentage gainers on the S&P and the Nasdaq
after the software maker reported better-than-expected quarterly
Deere hit an all-time high of $122.24 after the farm and
construction equipment maker reported a quarterly profit that
The news lifted Caterpillar's shares by 2 percent,
making it the top stock on the Dow.
"We think the Trump trade and the reflation trade have
unwound almost entirely post election, and the market is relying
on recovery in earnings and strong fundamentals," said Matt
Jones, U.S. head of equity strategy, J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
Of the 452 S&P 500 companies that have released results so
far, about 75 percent have topped earnings expectations. In a
typical quarter, about 64 percent beat estimates, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"You (also) didn't have a lot of news out of Washington,
which is helping calm some of the anxiety," Jones said.
At 11:09 a.m. ET (1509 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 122.39 points, or 0.59 percent, at
20,785.41, the S&P 500 was up 17.5 points, or 0.74
percent, at 2,383.22 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
43.57 points, or 0.72 percent, at 6,098.70.
All the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with
industrials, materials and energy
gaining more than 1 percent.
Oil rose more than 2 percent, helping energy shares, amid
talks of an extension to the supply limit deal among OPEC
Wal-Mart was up 1.7 percent at $78.86 after BMO
upgraded the big-box retailer's stock to "market perform" from
"underperform" following higher-than-expected quarterly sales at
established U.S. stores.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,194
to 596. On the Nasdaq, 1,776 issues rose and 890 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 17 new 52-week highs and eight new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 57 new highs and 39 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by