By April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed at its highest level since Feb. 1 as Alphabet's blowout results bolstered expectations of a robust earnings season.
Google's parent company was the biggest boost to the S&P 500. Others in the FANG group of momentum stocks rose as well. Shares of Facebook Inc
"We've seen some positive returns come in today," said Emily Roland, head of capital markets research at John Hancock Investments in Boston. "Investors are able to focus on fundamentals again and look at what's happening from an earnings standpoint."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 197.65 points, or 0.79 percent, to 25,241.94, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 13.42 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,820.4.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 1.11 points, or 0.01 percent, to 7,840.77. It reversed course after having hit a record high earlier in the session.
So far in 2018, the Nasdaq has climbed 13.6 percent, more than twice the 5.5 percent gain of the S&P 500. Some investors said the Nasdaq's reversal indicated some profit-taking driven by lingering concerns over trade issues. Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump extolled tariffs in a post on Twitter.
"It leads me to believe that underneath it all, investors are worried about the tariff situation and what the implications are going to be for corporate profits in the third quarter," said Jim Awad, senior managing director at Hartland & Co in New York. "If you're looking to raise cash because you're uncertain, you take it where you have the biggest profits."
Agriculture-related stocks gained on news that the Trump administration plans to announce aid for U.S. farmers to help protect them from potential impacts related to the trade war between the United States and other countries.
Deere & Co
Shares of Biogen Inc
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.08-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and four new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 118 new highs and 63 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.57 billion shares, compared to the 6.1 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Thomas and Phil Berlowitz)
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Updated Date: Jul 25, 2018 06:05 AM