By Akane Otani
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russia helped ease concerns about escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and offset some uninspiring earnings.
Gains were broad, with all but one of the S&P’s 10 primary sector indexes rising for the day. An S&P index of healthcare stocks <.SPXHC> gained 1.2 percent and led the advance, while an index of energy stocks <.SPNY> dragged, slipping 0.5 percent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would stand up for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside world, striking a softer tone after tough rhetoric aimed at Ukraine for several months.
The market had been pressured in recent weeks by uncertainty over the conflict.
Earnings season continued to wind down, with 92 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly earnings by Thursday morning. Of the companies that have reported results so far, 67.7 percent beat analysts' expectations.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc
The stock market has looked past flaring tensions abroad to rally for an extended period, with the S&P 500 marking more than 1,000 days since its last correction, which Wall Street defines as a drop of 10 percent from the most recent high.
“In October, the Fed is going to get away from money printing, and since we haven’t had a correction in a long time, it could undermine things very quickly once people realize growth isn’t in line with their expectations,” said Jeff Duncan, president of Duncan Financial Management in Sunset Hills, Missouri.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 61.78 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 16,713.58. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 8.46 points, or 0.43 percent, to finish at 1,955.18. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 18.88 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 4,453.00.
Shares of Boeing Co
The price of Berkshire Hathaway Inc's
After the bell, shares of Nordstrom Inc
JC Penney Co Inc
Shares of Monster Beverage Corp
During the regular session, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
About 4.7 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, compared with the five-day average of 5.4 billion.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)