* Deere gains on profit jump, lifts Caterpillar
* Campbell Soup down on sales warning
* Indexes up: Dow 0.26 pct, S&P 0.39 pct, Nasdaq 0.54 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 19 U.S. stocks advanced on Friday, driven by
Apple, as a sense of calm prevailed over Wall Street in a week
that was dominated by political uncertainty surrounding Donald
Still, the indexes are on track for their worst weekly
declines since mid-April after Trump unexpectedly fired FBI
Director James Comey. Reports later alleged Trump had asked
Comey to end an investigation into former national security
adviser Michael Flynn's ties with Russia.
Investors fear that the political uproar in Washington could
hinder Trump from pursuing his promise of fiscal stimulus, a key
driver for Wall Street's record-setting run.
"The market is looking to stabilize as no new political news
hit this morning headlines, suggesting that investors are
willing to play out the political turmoil without pushing the
panic switch," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First
Standard Financial wrote in a note.
Apple was up 0.6 percent and was the top stock on
all three major Wall Street indexes. Shares of the most valuable
U.S.-listed company have been recovering after their biggest
one-day drop in more than a year on Wednesday.
At 9:39 a.m. ET (1339 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 53.44 points, or 0.26 percent, at 20,716.46, the
S&P 500 was up 9.23 points, or 0.39 percent, at 2,374.95
and the Nasdaq Composite was up 32.44 points, or 0.54
percent, at 6,087.57.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. Technology
was in the lead with a 0.58 percent increase, followed
by a 0.51 percent rise in financials.
Shares of Deere & Co rose 6.5 percent to $120.07
after the farm and construction equipment maker reported a 62
percent jump in quarterly profit. Caterpillar was up 1.7
Campbell Soup slid 2 percent to $55.94 after the
packaged foods company warned that its full-year sales could
Dow member Wal-Mart was up 1.3 percent at $78.55
after BMO upgraded the big-box retailer's stock to "market
perform" from "underperform".
Autodesk soared 14.7 percent to $109.95 after the
software maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,757
to 781. On the Nasdaq, 1,508 issues rose and 758 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and five
new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 20 new
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by