May 2, 2019 / 2:41 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St inches higher with earnings in spotlight

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* Fed holds interest rates steady

* Under Armour jumps on profit forecast raise

* Dow Inc slips as core earnings drop

* Indexes up: Dow 0.02%, S&P 0.20%, Nasdaq 0.47% (Updates to open)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Thursday as a handful of positive earnings reports helped investors look past the Federal Reserve's policy decision that dented hopes of interest rate cuts.

Among the gainers were financial stocks, which rose 0.5%, helped by MetLife Inc. The insurer's shares rose 3.9% after beating quarterly profit estimates, helped by strong underwriting, volume growth, as well as higher investment income.

Qualcomm Inc rose 3.3% after analysts said the chipmaker was well-positioned in the 5G networks space even as it forecast disappointing current-quarter sales.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 1.9%.

Despite gains in the sectors, the broader markets remained muted as quarterly earnings season tapers off.

"Probably the market is not going to do much of anything and I say that because earnings are now winding down," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

The S&P 500 snapped a three-day streak of closing at record highs on Wednesday after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stuck with the monetary policy outlook, driving down bets of interest rate cut this year which emerged in the recent months amid worries of a recession.

"Investors are going to dwell on the Powell's comments. He said there is no need to cut rates anytime soon or indicated that next move might not be a rate cut."

Markets are awaiting a reading of the Labor Market's non-farm payrolls data on Friday, which is expected to show fewer job additions last month compared to March.

At 10:16 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.32 points, or 0.02%, at 26,435.46, the S&P 500 was up 5.88 points, or 0.20%, at 2,929.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 38.07 points, or 0.47%, at 8,087.71.

Over halfway through earnings season, analysts now expect first-quarter earnings to rise 0.5% compared with a 2% fall estimated at the beginning of April, according to Refinitiv data.

Under Armour Inc gained 5.7%, topping the S&P 500, after the sportswear maker posted strong quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit forecast, benefiting from stronger demand in overseas markets.

Among decliners, Dow Inc, the commodity chemicals division spun off from DowDuPont Inc, slipped 1.6% after reporting a 24 percent fall in core earnings.

Kellogg Co dropped 4.3% after the cereal and snacks maker said it would replace its chief financial officer and reported a 36.5 percent decline in first-quarter earnings.

Shares of Abiomed Inc slumped 7.8% after the medical device maker reported quarterly revenue below expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.61-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 7 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 33 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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