October 27, 2017 / 6:28 PM / 22 days ago

US STOCKS-Tech, Amazon earnings power Wall St higher

* Tech sector on track for best day since March 2016

* Apple says iPhone X pre-orders high

* Chevron biggest drag on S&P, Dow

* Dow up 0.15 pct, S&P 500 up 0.83 pct, Nasdaq up 2.25 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street climbed on Friday, including a 2 percent jump in the Nasdaq, powered by strong earnings from tech heavyweights and Amazon, along with an upbeat statement from Apple on demand for its iPhone X.

The S&P technology index led the way higher, up 3.14 percent. The index was on track for its best day since March 1, 2016 and is up nearly 35 percent on the year versus the 15.2 percent gain in the S&P 500.

Google-parent Alphabet gained 5.30 percent as its revenue got a boost from advertising sales. Microsoft jumped 7.16 percent after the world’s largest software company reported further gains from its cloud computing services.

Further lifting the sector were shares of Apple, which rose 3.83 percent after the company allayed concerns of muted demand for its 10th anniversary phone. Intel soared 8.10 percent after its quarterly results topped estimates and the chipmaker raised its full-year forecasts.

Amazon, up 13.15 percent, was responsible for the biggest boost to the S&P 500 after reporting a quarterly sales surge. Its gains helped lift the consumer discretionary sector 1.53 percent to put the index on pace for its best daily performance since Dec. 7.

“People are concerned about overvaluation, people are concerned about what is the catalyst for those guys to attract too much attention from regulators,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.

“They are the ones that everyone wants to own, has to own because they are the ones reporting the best earnings. They definitely came through, that is very positive.”

Adding to the positive sentiment was the third-quarter GDP data that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth, at a 3-percent annual rate, despite a hurricane-led drop in consumer spending and construction activities.

A report about President Donald Trump favoring Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the head of the U.S. central bank provided support for stocks. In Powell’s potential appointment, investors see a continuation of the current monetary policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36 points, or 0.15 percent, to 23,436.86, the S&P 500 gained 21.22 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,581.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 147.33 points, or 2.25 percent, to 6,704.10.

Earnings growth for the third quarter is now 6.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. Of the 273 companies that have posted earnings, 74 percent have topped expectations, compared with the 72 percent beat rate over the past four quarters.

Not all earnings were positive, however. Chevron’s 4.53 percent fall weighed on the S&P and the Dow after the oil company’s profit missed estimates.

Merck dropped 6.58 percent after the company reported a revenue drop due to a cyber attack and loss of market share for many of its older drugs.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.53-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.50-to-1 ratio favored advancers. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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