US STOCKS-Earnings, healthcare help lift Wall Street

Reuters - UK Focus

* S&P 500, Nasdaq on track for six-day advance

* Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) up after results, Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) gains on upgrade

* Allergan (NYSE: AGN - news) soars as Ackman and Valeant bid for company

* Indexes up: Dow 0.68 pct, S&P 0.67 pct, Nasdaq 1.13 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday,with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on track for a sixth straightday, buoyed by a host of solid earnings reports along withstrength in the healthcare sector.

Netflix Inc surged 5.9 percent to $369.04 a dayafter showing strong subscriber growth, a sign the tradingfavorite still had room to grow despite recent concerns over itsvaluation. With the day's gain, the stock moved to the plus sidefor the year after a 21 percent drop in March.

Healthcare, up 1.5 percent, was the best performingof the 10 major S&P sectors, as Allergan Inc jumped 15.8percent to $164.48 a day after activist investor William Ackmanteamed up with Canadian drugmaker Valeant PharmaceuticalsInternational Inc to bid for the company. U.S.-listedValeant shares gained 7.6 percent to $135.56.

Also providing support to the sector was a deal betweenNovartis (Xetra: NOT.DE - news) and GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF - news) , in which the twocompanies traded over $20 billion worth of assets in an effortto cope with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition.U.S.-listed shares of Novartis gained 1.4 percent to$86.67 while shares of Glaxo trading in New Yorkadvanced 4.1 percent to $55.31.

Facebook Inc shares rose 3 percent to $63.08 to helpboost the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500. Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS - news) upgradedthe social networking company to "outperform" on higherexpectations for the company's long-term average revenue peruser.

Better-than-expected earnings have lifted equities recently,though companies have largely been exceeding reduced forecasts.Profits are seen rising 1.1 percent this quarter, down from the6.5 percent growth rate estimated at the start of the year.

"Earnings are certainly providing a constructive context forengagement," said Peter Kenny, CEO of Clearpool Group in NewYork. "They are also importantly providing forwardlooking-guidance and confidence the rally we've had over theprevious three or four years, though we've seen a pause in thefirst quarter, is not a compelling reason to sell equities."

Dow components Travelers Cos Inc and UnitedTechnologies Corp both beat expectations, and UnitedTech raised the low end of its full-year profit outlook. Sharesof Travelers rose 0.6 percent to $86.89 while United Tech was up1.3 percent at $119.89.

McDonald's Corp reported earnings that fellalongside a drop in U.S. same-store sales, and its sharesslipped 0.3 percent to $99.42.

With 20 percent of the S&P having reported, 63 percent havetopped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters (Frankfurt: TOC.F - news) data,even with the long-term average. On the revenue side, 51 percenthave exceeded forecasts, below the 61 percent long-term average.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 112.02 pointsor 0.68 percent, to 16,561.27, the S&P 500 gained 12.63points or 0.67 percent, to 1,884.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.47 points or 1.13 percent, to 4,168.016.

Both the S&P and Nasdaq are on track for a sixth straightday of gains. The S&P has gained 3.8 percent over that periodwhile the Nasdaq is up 4.2 percent. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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