October 19, 2009 / 3:21 PM / 8 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rises on earnings optimism

* BB&T profit drops, sees loan stability

* Hasbro earnings top view; revs fall short

* Dow up 0.8 pct, S&P 500 up 0.7 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to late morning, changes byline)

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, buoyed by investor optimism over the strength of earnings season at the beginning of a busy week for corporate results.

Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N) jumped 6.2 percent to $13.80 after the largest U.S. newspaper publisher posted lower quarterly profit, but still beat expectations amid cost cutting. For details, see [ID:nN19342465]

Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp (ETN.N) rose 7.8 percent to $65.10 after it said it saw early signs of recovery in its markets as it reported quarterly profit fell sharply from a year ago. [ID:nN19314996]

Earnings season heats up this week, with 13 Dow components and 135 S&P 500 companies set to report.

Through last Friday, 61 companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings, with 79 percent of results above analysts' expectations, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Analysts are especially looking at revenue growth to support expectations the economy is stabilizing after the last two quarters were characterized by cost cutting.

"You had some decent momentum last week. Now it's a matter of let's see if we can keep the ball rolling, and this week is critical for that," said Kurt Brunner, portfolio manager at Swarthmore Group in Philadelphia.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 80.26 points, or 0.80 percent, to 10,076.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX gained 7.19 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,094.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC added 9.10 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,165.90.

BB&T Corp (BBT.N) dropped 4.1 percent to $27.10 after the regional bank reported third-quarter profit tumbled by 56 percent, but said early indicators of problem loans were largely stable compared with the second quarter. [ID:nN18349933]

Toymaker Hasbro Inc HAS.N shed 3.6 percent to $28.47 after saying revenues fell short of the Wall Street view, even as it posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit. [ID:nN19363695]

The Nasdaq lagged the other indexes, weighed down by Apple Inc (AAPL.O) as investors awaited results from the iPod maker due after the bell. Apple slipped 0.4 percent to $187.39.

Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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