US STOCKS-Wall St rises for third straight day on data, earnings

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* U.S. adds China'sHuawei to trade blacklist

* Walmart, Cisco gain after earnings beats

* Housing starts, jobless claims beat expectations

* Treasury yields rise, lifting financials

* Indexes up: Dow 0.84%, S&P 0.89%, Nasdaq 0.97% (Updates to market close)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street closed higher onThursday as upbeat earnings and strong economic data putinvestors in a buying mood, with technology companies leadingthe charge.

All three major U.S. stock indexes pared gains late in thesession, adding less than 1% and bringing the bellwether S&P 500close to 2% below an all-time high reached on April 30.

While the escalating U.S.-China tariff war continued to be aconcern for market participants, upbeat quarterly results anddata pointing to a strong U.S. economy helped ease trade-relatedjitters.

WalmartWMT.N rose 1.4% after its first-quarter resultsbeat analyst expectations.*:nL2N22S088

Cisco SystemsCSCO.O stock saw its biggest percentage jumpsince February 2016, gaining 6.7% after better-than-expectedquarterly results.*:nL4N22S2R4

On the economic front, groundbreaking on new U.S. homesincreased more than expected in April, according to the CommerceDepartment, as declining interest rates provided support to thestruggling housing sector.*:nL2N22R1F7

The S&P 1500 Homebuilding index .SPCOMHOME advanced 1.2%.

In a separate report from the Labor Department, 16,000 fewerAmericans applied for unemployment last week, beating economistestimates.

"If you look at the overall economy, we're in afundamentally strong position and this is a reinforcement ofthat," said Matthew Keator, managing partner in the KeatorGroup, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Regarding U.S.-China trade negotiations, Keator believes theworst may be over.

"Things had to get worse before they could get better,"Keator added. "With tariffs now in place, the Administration hassomething to give up."

Washington placed Huawei Technologies Co on a blacklistwhich bans it from acquiring components and technology from U.S.firms without prior approval.*:nL4N22S13G

Shares of Huawei suppliers Qorvo IncQRVO.O , SkyworksSolutions IncSWKS.O , Qualcomm IncQCOM.O , Xilinx IncXLNX.O and Micron Technology IncMU.O lost ground.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX ended thesession down 1.7%.

Electric automaker Tesla IncTSLA.O dropped 1.6% followingsafety agency reports that the Autopilot feature was engagedduring a fatal crash in Florida in March.*:nL2N22S0OL

Ride-hailing rivals Uber TechnologiesUBER.N and Lyft IncLYFT.O posted their third straight day of gains after spendingmuch of their post-debut trading days in negative territory.Their shares were up 4.1% and 2.9%, respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 214.66 points,or 0.84%, to 25,862.68, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 25.36 points,or 0.89%, to 2,876.32 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added75.90 points, or 0.97%, to 7,898.05.

All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 were trading in positiveterritory, with materials .SPLRCM , financials .SPSY andconsumer discretionary .SPLRCD seeing the largest percentagegains.

A mostly upbeat first-quarter earnings season is beginningto wind down, with 457 S&P 500 companies having reported. Ofthose, about 75% have beaten profit expectations, according toRefinitiv data.

Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings growth of 1.4%, asignificant improvement over the 2% loss expected on April 1.

Nvidia CorpNVDA.O was up over 4% in after-market tradingafter the Huawei Technologies supplier posted quarterlyearnings.

Pinterest IncPINS.K dropped more than 12% in extendedtrading after posting results.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a2.19-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.44-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 51 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; theNasdaq Composite recorded 92 new highs and 69 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.56 billion shares, comparedto the 6.98 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

(Reporting by Stephen CulpEditing by Chris Reese) ((; 646-223-6076;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.