By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - The Nasdaq hit a record high on Wednesday and the S&P 500 was close behind as reassuring comments from Texas Instruments about global chip demand blunted the impact of weak earnings reports from Boeing and Caterpillar.
Texas Instruments Inc
"Semiconductor investors are looking past right now and saying that maybe in the second half of this year, economic concerns will start to abate a little," said Willie Delwiche, an investment strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.
However, trade-sensitive Caterpillar Inc
Those two companies' bleak reports left the Dow Jones Industrial Average in negative territory.
Two weeks into an earnings season with mute investor expectations, about 77% of the 138 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Overall earnings per share, however, are now expected to fall 0.1%, compared with prior estimate of a rise of about 1%.
Wall Street has hit record levels in July on bets the Federal Reserve will lower rates next week to counter the impact of a protracted U.S.-China trade war on economic growth.
At 2:15 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 0.48% at 27,217.97 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.16% to 3,010.34. The S&P 500 was 0.1% below its record high close on July 15.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.38% to 8,283.09, beating its July 15 high.
Another bright spot was United Parcel Service Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.96-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 66 new highs and 87 new lows.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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Updated Date: Jul 25, 2019 02:06:04 IST