The Dow and S&P 500 advanced on Thursday after a round of positive corporate earnings announcements, but gains were curbed and the Nasdaq lost ground on a drop in the healthcare sector.
"This earnings season so far looks good, mixed as always and obviously there is a lot more to go here in terms of earnings," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in New York.
The healthcare sector, off 1.03 percent, held gains in check, led lower by a 16.4-percent plunge in Celgene
Losses accelerated in the sector after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, citing public records, that Amazon
"Even though it has been talked about for months and the stocks had taken a hit several times, when reality hits there is always another downside to it and the group is getting slammed," said Ghriskey.
Shares of the online retailer climbed about 6 percent following the closing bell after its quarterly results.
Trump`s search for a new Federal Reserve chair narrowed down to Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor, according to a Politico report. A White House official told Reuters that no final decision had been made.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> rose 71.61 points, or 0.31 percent, to 23,401.07, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 3.26 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,560.41 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> dropped 7.12 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,556.77.
As third-quarter earnings season nears the half-way mark, 74 percent of companies have topped expectations, above the 72 percent beat rate for the past four quarters.
However, earnings growth for the quarter is currently 5.3 percent, well below the double-digit growth rates of the prior two quarters. With major U.S. indexes at record levels, earnings have been scrutinized to see if they warrant stretched valuations.
Also denting healthcare names was a fall of 4.8 percent in Bristol-Myers Squibb
Late in the session, shares of Aetna
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favuored advancers.
About 7.04 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, above the 5.97 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)