* Morgan Stanley rises as profit surges
* IBM drops on bigger-than-expected revenue decline
* S&P 500 earnings estimated to have risen 10.7 pct in
* Dow down 0.11 pct, S&P up 0.27 pct, Nasdaq up 0.61 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 19 Gains in financial and technology
stocks kept the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq firmly positive on
Wednesday, while a slump in IBM held back the Dow.
The advance in financials was underpinned by a 2.6 percent
jump in shares of Morgan Stanley, which reported a surge
in quarterly profit. Shares of other big U.S. banks rose in
Morgan Stanley's solid results provided some succor to
investors stung by weak results at chief rival Goldman Sachs
a day earlier.
IBM sank nearly 6 percent to $16.06 after the
company reported a bigger-than-expected decline in revenue for
the first time in five quarters. The stock was the biggest drag
on the Dow and the S&P.
"It's really a battle between geopolitical headlines and
earnings right now, and for the most part earnings seem to be
winning in the short term," said Jeff Zipper, managing director
of investments at the Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank in
Palm Beach Florida.
Mounting tension between North Korea and the United States
and political uncertainty in Europe ahead of the French
presidential elections had kept safe-havens such as gold and
U.S. Treasuries in demand in the past weeks.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 23.46 points, or 0.11 percent, at
20,499.82, the S&P 500 was up 6.27 points, or 0.27
percent, at 2,348.46 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
35.50 points, or 0.61 percent, at 5,884.97.
With Wall Street near record levels and worries over
President Donald Trump's ability to carry out his pro-growth
promises, investors are hoping first-quarter earnings will be
strong enough to justify pricey market valuations.
So far, the results have been promising. Of the 45 S&P 500
companies that have released results, nearly 76 percent have
topped earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have
risen 10.7 percent in the quarter - the best since 2011.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher.
Utilities, real estate and consumer
staples, which have outperformed the broader index
since Monday, were down.
Facebook was up 1.3 percent and provided the biggest
boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Intuitive Surgical was up 7.3 percent at $814.49
after the company reported higher-than-expected first-quarter
revenue and profit.
American Express, eBay and Qualcomm
are scheduled to report results after the market
In economic data, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which
will give a glimpse into economic conditions across the United
States, is due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,753
to 997. On the Nasdaq, 1,838 issues rose and 766 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 52-week highs and one low, while
the Nasdaq recorded 53 highs and 22 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by