* Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft due to report after the bell
* PayPal hits record high after raising forecast
* Energy shares track crude lower
* Dow up 0.03 pct, S&P 500 up 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.39 pct
(Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 27 The Nasdaq Composite ended at
a record high on Thursday, boosted by results-related gains in
Comcast, PayPal and Intuit, while the S&P 500 and the Dow were
Earnings were back in the spotlight, a day after the Trump
administration unveiled its tax reform priorities without
details on how the reform would be paid for, raising questions
on whether deficit hawks in Congress would support it.
Comcast rose 2.1 percent to $39.59 after touching
a record high of $40.62 as strong subscriber growth brought a
Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have
risen 12.4 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Most folks were expecting a build in earnings acceleration
and that’s what we’ve got. Despite all the economic and
geopolitical noise, ultimately the market has been responding to
improving earnings," said Michael Arone, chief investment
strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.
He said a premium has been built into stock prices on bets
of tax reform and other policies expected from the Trump
administration, so "when that is in question you see a sideways
U.S. businesses would mostly benefit if President Donald
Trump's plan to cut corporate tax rates and slash taxes on cash
parked overseas becomes law. But the economic benefits and the
timing of a possible bill remain in question.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.24 points, or
0.03 percent, to 20,981.33, the S&P 500 gained 1.32
points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,388.77 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 23.71 points, or 0.39 percent, to 6,048.94.
Technology stocks will be the focus after the bell with
heavyweights Microsoft and Alphabet reporting
Intuit rose 8.5 percent to $125.63 after it
reported consumer tax-season results and reiterated its quarter
and full-year forecast.
PayPal shares hit a record high a day after it
raised its earnings outlook and reported higher-than-expected
Sportswear maker Under Armour shares jumped 9.9
percent to $21.67 after it posted a smaller-than-expected
Energy was the biggest decliner among the 11 major
S&P 500 sectors, falling 1.1 percent on the back of a 0.9
percent decline in U.S. crude futures.
American Airlines dropped 5.2 percent to $43.98. The
company said it had offered a mid-contract pay increase for
pilots and flight attendants that JPMorgan analysts called "a
wealth transfer of nearly $1 billion to its labor groups."
Indexes ticked up but declining issues outnumbered advancing
ones on the NYSE 1.03-to-1 while on Nasdaq a 1.15-to-1 ratio
The S&P 500 posted 76 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 180 new highs and 45 new lows.
About 7.11 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
above the 6.5 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski)