By Amy Caren Daniel
PepsiCo's shares rose 4.3 percent after the company's quarterly revenue and profit topped analysts' estimates, helped by strong sales in its Frito-Lay unit.
"The first major earnings report came out, and PepsiCo's earnings beat expectations and that's a good start for the market," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
However, investors and analysts will parse quarterly reports to gauge the impact of China's tariffs, which are expected to hit a range of U.S. companies.
"The trade conflict is far from over and could eventually have a very negative impact on equities, but for now it is taking a back seat only because we are entering into the earnings season," Cardillo said.
He also pointed to a "disappointing" report from the National Federation of Independent Business that showed U.S. small business confidence index fell 0.6 points to 107.2 in June as another sign that the trade dispute is worrisome for corporate America.
At 9:59 a.m. EDT, the S&P 500 was up 6.28 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,790.45. The index rose to as much as 2,791.7 points, its highest since March 13.
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance dropped 1.3 percent after Evercore ISI cut its rating on the stock to "in line" from "outperform."
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and eight new lows.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)