November 16, 2017 / 4:24 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Gains in Wal-Mart, Cisco lift Wall Street

* Cisco, Wal-Mart shares boost Dow, S&P

* Tech stocks rebound

* Viacom slumps after weak forecast

* Indexes up: Dow 0.77 pct, S&P 0.76 pct, Nasdaq 1.17 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details on tax plan)

By Sruthi Shankar

Nov 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index recovered from its worst two-day fall since August on Thursday after Wal-Mart and Cisco shares soared on strong results.

Wal-Mart surged 8.74 percent to hit a record high of $97.90 after reporting quarterly sales that beat expectations on hurricane-related purchases and soaring online sales.

Cisco shares surged 6.44 percent as strength in security business helped its earnings. Both the stocks boosted the S&P and the Dow.

"The bull market is still intact. Good earnings and strong economic data are what stocks care about," said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

"While tax debate is an important catalyst, it's not the only catalyst that moves market."

The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress is approaching a major test of its ability to overhaul tax code, as lawmakers prepare for their first full-scale vote on sweeping tax legislation.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News he was confident his chamber had the votes to pass its version of the plan. A vote was expected early on Thursday afternoon.

At 10:45 a.m. ET (1445 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 178.42 points, or 0.77 percent, at 23,449.7, the S&P 500 was up 19.58 points, or 0.76 percent, at 2,584.2 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 78.54 points, or 1.17 percent, at 6,784.75.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street's fear gauge, posted its first decline in six days.

Nine of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by gains in consumer staples and technology stocks.

Folgers coffee maker J M Smucker rose about 8.04 percent as its sales and profit topped analysts' forecasts.

Utilities and energy sectors were the only laggards.

Viacom shares sank 5.6 percent after the MTV owner said it expected high single-digit declines in revenue from U.S. cable TV operators and online distributors in the first half of 2018.

Best Buy fell 6.88 percent as quarterly same-store sales came in below estimates, hurt by a late launch of iPhone X.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,235 to 537. On the Nasdaq, 2,214 issues rose and 513 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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