US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq tick higher on Intel boost

Reuters

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    * Intel jumps on replacing CEO Bob Swan
    * Exxon rises on J.P. Morgan upgrade to "overweight"
    * Regeneron up as U.S. govt orders more COVID-19 therapy
doses
    * Indexes: Dow flat, S&P up 0.23%, Nasdaq rises 0.55%

 (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
    By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
    Jan 13 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose in choppy
trading on Wednesday as Intel shares jumped thanks to a change
in management while broader sentiment was muted after a recent
run to record highs.
    Intel  INTC.O  said it would replace Chief Executive Officer
Bob Swan with VMware Inc  VMW.N  CEO Pat Gelsinger next month.
The chipmaker's shares gained 7.5% to touch a six-month high.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JO31T
    Shares of VMware fell 5.5%.
    Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs last week as
expectations of a hefty COVID-19 relief package and hopes of a
rebound in corporate earnings this year eclipsed concerns over
signs that the labor market recovery has stalled amid rampant
COVID-19 infections.
    "The market is starting to price in that there are some
risks ...  valuation is pretty extreme, optimism is way too
high, we've got a disappointing rollout of further vaccine,"
said David Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management in
Dallas, Texas.
    "The expectation is that we'll have a significant increase
in earnings and economic growth in 2021, but both are really
dependent on the vaccine."
    Investors are watching events in Washington, where the U.S.
House of Representatives gathered to consider impeaching
President Donald Trump for his role in an assault on American
democracy that stunned the nation and left five dead.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO18O
    "The market is looking through the impeachment and saying
we're going to get this stimulus, which will be a bridge between
now and when the vaccine can be adequately distributed," Spika
added.
    Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with real estate
 .SPLRCR  and utilities  .SPLRCU  posting the sharpest gains.
    At 11:26 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
rose 2.00 points, or 0.01%, to 31,070.69, the S&P 500  .SPX 
gained 8.80 points, or 0.23%, to 3,809.99 and the Nasdaq
Composite  .IXIC  gained 72.54 points, or 0.55%, to 13,144.98. 
    Earnings reports from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan
 JPM.N  and Citigroup  C.N  will mark the unofficial start to
the fourth-quarter earnings season later this week. Investors
will gauge remarks from executives for clues on corporate
America's health.
    Exxon Mobil Corp  XOM.N  rose 1% after J.P. Morgan upgraded
the stock to "overweight", saying cuts in capital spending had
put the oil major on track for a stronger performance.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JO2CP
    Regeneron Pharmaceuticals  REGN.O  climbed 1.5% as the U.S.
government said it would buy 1.25 million additional doses of
the company's COVID-19 antibody cocktail for about $2.63
billion.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JN48Z
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1-to-1 ratio on
the NYSE and by a 1.1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 332 new highs and 10 new lows.

 (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
 ((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1646 223 8780,
outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2802; Twitter: https://twitter.com/medhasinghs;))

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