By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Tuesday in the wake of a host of solid earnings reports that put corporate profits on track to snap a four-quarter streak of declines.
Of the 52 S&P 500 companies that have reported results to date for the third quarter, 81 percent have reported earnings that topped average analyst estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Third-quarter earnings are now expected to show growth of 0.2 percent, which would mark an end to the U.S. profit recession that began in the third quarter of 2015.
If the quarter stays on track, it will be the first time since the fourth-quarter of 2014 in which both earnings and revenue of S&P 500 companies increased.
"We are off to a great start, I don't think the ultimate conclusion will be as good as the start has been," said Stephen Massocca, Chief Investment Officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.
Massocca cautioned, however, that it was still early in the earnings season.
"You have all these companies yet to report. That is really when the dance is going to start."
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 97.35 points, or 0.54 percent, to 18,183.75, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 16.29 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,142.79 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 58.44 points, or 1.12 percent, to 5,258.26.
Gaines were broad, with each of the 11 major S&P sectors in positive territory, led by a 1.2-percent gain in healthcare <.SPXHC>, boosted by a UnitedHealth's
Gains in the sector were curbed by a 2.5-percent decline in Johnson & Johnson
Among the decliners, IBM
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.26-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 3 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 41 new highs and 52 new lows.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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