NEW YORK: US stocks gained on Tuesday amid choppy trading that could see the Dow log a 12-day rally ahead of quarterly earnings reports from megacap technology companies Alphabet and Microsoft, and a rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

With the central bank on track for another 25-basis point interest rate hike on Wednesday, policymakers face a choice over how much weight to put on recent economic data.

Given the signs of economic resilience, US tech giants are expected to signal an end to a nearly year-long slowdown in their cloud businesses as technology spending and digital ads are likely to pick up.

Results from Alphabet and Microsoft are due after the bell. The Google owner’s shares edged lower, while the Windows-maker’s shares climbed 1.0%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index has rallied nearly 35.2% this year, helped by outsized gains in rate-sensitive megacap growth companies on optimism over artificial intelligence and hopes of an end to the US Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle.

“Tech sold off horribly in 2022, so it’s no surprise that it has come back so strong because investors believe the Fed is either done or close to being done with its tightening cycle and that’s all the market wants,” said M. Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer at Longbow Asset Management.

After logging its longest winning streak in over six years on Monday, the blue-chip Dow inched up even as a 1.4% slide in Boeing capped gains.

RTX tumbled 14.0% after saying many of its Pratt & Whitney GTF engines that power Airbus A320neo jets will need “accelerated removals and inspections”.

The S&P composite 1500 passenger airlines sub index dropped 4.4%, bogged down by a 12.0% fall in Alaska Air after the airline’s annual revenue growth outlook missed expectations.

At 11:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 72.07 points, or 0.20%, at 35,483.31, the S&P 500 was up 13.52 points, or 0.30%, at 4,568.16, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 97.55 points, or 0.69%, at 14,156.42.

Most of the eleven major S&P 500 sectors were subdued, however, materials stocks gained 1.8% tracking rising metal prices as investors cheered pledges of support in the readout from a Politburo meeting in China.

General Electric jumped 5.9% after raising its annual adjusted profit forecast, while General Motors slumped 4.2% after it posted a decline in adjusted pre-tax profit and margins in its key North American market from the previous quarter.

3M Co rose 5.6% as the industrial conglomerate raised its annual adjusted profit forecast.


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