Wall St. rises on tech boost, robust Johnson & Johnson earnings

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, powered by stellar results from healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson and gains in technology stocks, with the benchmark S&P 500 less than a percent away from its all-time high.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Johnson & Johnson gained 2.7% after beating quarterly profit estimates and raising adjusted sales growth forecast for the year.

The results helped healthcare, the worst performing sector this year, gain 0.69%. The index has risen 4.9% this year, compared with a 16.3% climb for the S&P 500.

UnitedHealth Group Inc, which rose after beating quarterly profit estimates and raising its adjusted earnings target for the year, reversed course to drop 1.3%.

“UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson raising their forecast is a hugely good thing as heading into the year we thought we might see an earnings pause or an earnings recession,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“These companies who typically don’t want to have a pre-announcement saying they have to walk back on their earnings expectations, for them to raise guidance is really good.”

Banks have posted mixed earnings so far. Bank of America Corp declined 2% after revenue missed in the first quarter but earnings still beat forecasts.

JPMorgan Chase & Co kicked off earnings for the group on a strong note on Friday, but Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc disappointed on Monday with revenue misses.

Of the 33 S&P 500 companies that reported through Monday, 81.8% came in above estimates, above the 76% average of the past four quarters, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts now expect S&P 500 companies to post a 2.1% year-on-year decline in profits, which would mark the

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