Wall St. gains on Apple; S&P up for fourth straight day

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 on track for a fourth straight session of gains as Apple and Texas Instruments rallied after their results.

The results lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq index up more than 1 percent, while the Dow’s gains were limited following disappointing results from Coca-Cola.

The S&P 500 has gained 3.2 percent over the past four sessions, rebounding after a four-week decline that took the benchmark index down nearly 10 percent from its intraday record. With the day’s gain, the S&P advanced back above its 200-day and 14-day moving averages, a sign that momentum is turning more positive.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 2.3 percent to $102 in heavy trading a day after revenue topped expectations, helped by strong sales of its iPhone line. It also gave a strong outlook for the holiday quarter.

“This was strong across all sectors, and Apple gave a good guidance. Any fund manager who is underweight on Apple is probably rethinking that position today,” said Michael Binger, senior portfolio manager at Minneapolis-based Gradient Investments, which owns the stock.

Chipmaker Texas Instruments’ shares (TXN.O) rose 3 percent to $45.80 after its revenue beat forecasts, easing concerns about weak industry demand following IBM’s results.

On the downside, Dow components Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) and McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) both fell following their results, with currency exchange rates a concern for both. Coca-Cola fell 5.5 percent to $40.89 in its biggest one-day decline since October 2008. McDonald’s lost 0.4 percent to $91.22.

“The earnings season is kind of average so far, and we’re starting to see the strong dollar hurt stocks like McDonald’s and Coke,” Binger said. “The world is a little different because of slowing overseas, but I’d use any pullback as a buying opportunity.”

Also lower was Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N), down 4.6 percent to $623, a day after signaling its current pace of growth couldn’t last forever.

While earnings have largely come in strong so far this quarter, concerns continue to swirl over the pace of global economic growth. An index of shares in China (.SSEC) fell 0.7 percent after the country’s gross domestic product grew 7.3 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009, during the financial crisis.

At 10:03 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) rose 57.42 points, or 0.35 percent, to 16,457.09, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 17.28 points, or 0.91 percent, to 1,921.29 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 47.83 points, or 1.11 percent, to 4,363.90.

Existing home sales rose 2.4 percent in September, above expectations, hitting their highest level in a year. The PHLX Housing index (.HGX) rose 1 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,186 to 621, for a 3.52-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,588 issues rose and 685 fell for a 2.32-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 8 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 20 new highs and 8 new lows.

(Editing by Nick Zieminski)