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US: Stocks mostly gain on good earnings

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher on Tuesday as generally strong earnings from Google parent Alphabet, United Technologies and others more than offset trade war worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to 25,241.94.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,820.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped a hair to 7,840.77.

Highlights from the deluge of earnings over the last 24 hours included Alphabet, which jumped 3.5 per cent after reporting a bigger-than-expected 26 per cent increase in second-quarter revenues to US$32.7 billion, while Dow member United Technologies advanced 3.8 per cent after it boosted its full-year profit forecast on strong demand for Otis elevators and Pratt & Whitney engines.

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But not all the reports were good. Whirlpool sank 14.5 per cent after it trimmed its full-year profit forecast due to higher costs for steel and other materials, in part due to tariffs.

The generally strong profit reports have let the market shift its attention away from President Donald Trump's bellicose approach to free trade. Trump is scheduled to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced US$12 billion in aid for farmers who have been the primary targets of retaliation by trading partners following Trump's moves, the first acknowledgement that Trump's controversial approach on trade is having a downside for everyday Americans.

Some farm-linked equities rose, including Deere & Co, which won 3.2 per cent.

AFP