August 21, 2018 / 4:55 PM / in 2 months

US STOCKS-Wall St rises on trade hopes, S&P equals longest bull run

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* Medtronic jumps after better-than-expected results

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

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

* Small-cap Russell 2000 index hits record

* Indexes up: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.52 pct, Nasdaq 0.90 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Aug 21 (Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 edged closer to a record high on Tuesday, matching its longest-ever bull-market run, as U.S. stocks rose after some encouraging earnings reports and on hopes that the United States and China could resolve their tariff dispute.

At its session high, the S&P 500 was 0.06 percent shy of its Jan. 26 all-time high. The index’s bull run will turn 3,453 days old on Wednesday, which, for some market watchers, will be the longest such streak in history.

The United States and China are slated to hold trade talks this week, but President Donald Trump told Reuters he does not expect much progress. Still, the trade-sensitive S&P industrial sector climbed 0.7 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, gained 1.15 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors. The materials index rose 0.68 percent.

“Investors, overall seem more optimistic that the troubles with global trade may get resolved this week,” said Kate Warne, principal and investment strategist at Edward Jones in Des Peres, Missouri.

“We’ve seen a continuation of strong earnings and signs of stronger economic growth and you would expect investors to be confident in this kind of an environment and expect stocks to rise.”

At 12:33 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 120.38 points, or 0.47 percent, at 25,879.07, the S&P 500 was up 14.93 points, or 0.52 percent, at 2,871.98 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 70.09 points, or 0.90 percent, at 7,891.10.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index jumped 1.19 percent to a record high.

Despite Trump’s criticism of the Fed’s monetary policy, the central bank’s minutes of its August policy meeting - due on Wednesday - is expected to indicate its confidence in economic growth and commitment to future rate hikes.

Shares of bank stocks rose. JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley were up between 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent.

Animal Planet owner Discovery Inc jumped 4.58 percent, the most on the S&P, after brokerage Jefferies upgraded its rating on the stock.

Medtronic rose 5.37 percent after the medical device maker’s profit beat estimates.

Retailer TJX climbed 4.38 percent 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 10.12 percent after the beauty products maker missed sales estimates for the first time in six quarters.

Toll Brothers Inc jumped 13.53 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results that also lifted other homebuilders. PulteGroup, Lennar and D.R. Horton rose more than 3 percent.

Online brokers Charles Schwab, E*Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade tumbled between 3 percent and 5.8 percent after CNBC reported JPMorgan planned to roll out a free digital brokerage service next week.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.18-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 145 new highs and 25 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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