US stocks close higher amid strong corporate earnings

New York: US stocks closed higher, as the market was underpinned by a series of robust corporate earnings, supporting investor sentiment previously dampened by weakening US retail sales.

The Dow rose 0.09 percent to 27,025.88, the S&P 500 increased 0.28 percent to 2,997.95, and the Nasdaq increased 0.40 percent to 8,156.85, Xinhua news agency reported.

More than half of the blue-chip stocks in the Dow extended gains around midday, with shares of UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens Boots Alliance both up nearly 1.6 percent and nearly 1.5 percent, leading the winners.

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Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around midday, with the health care sector up 0.8 percent, leading the losers.

Another batch of companies continued to underpin the market with stronger-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, including Netflix and Morgan Stanley, which extended gains of nearly 3.9 percent and over 2.4 percent respectively around midday.

So far, over 76 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings results that beat market estimates, according to FactSet.

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