Jul 25, 10:18 AM EDT

US stocks rise to records, despite rare stumble for tech


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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

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NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks mostly rose in Tuesday morning trading as corporate profits continue to come in even bigger than analysts expected. McDonald's and Caterpillar were among the big companies reporting healthier-than-forecast earnings.

Higher prices for oil, metals and other commodities helped to lift energy and raw-materials companies, while tech stocks took a rare step backward after Seagate Technology and others in the industry reported weaker-than-expected results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nearly 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,477, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. If the gain holds, it would be the first for the index in four days and return it to a record level.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 83, or 0.4 percent, to 21,596. The Nasdaq composite slipped a point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,409.

EARTH MOVING: Caterpillar jumped $4.66, or 4.3 percent, to $112.84 after reporting better results for the latest quarter than analysts expected. It also raised its forecast for revenue and profit for the full year, citing increased demand across many of its markets.

PILING HIGHER: McDonald's rose $5.75, or 3.8 percent, to $157.60 after its revenue and earnings for the latest quarter topped Wall Street's forecast. The burger chain has been drawing in customers with a new line of premium of burgers and $1 sodas.

TECH STUMBLE: Technology stocks have been the year's biggest stars so far, as investors have been hungry for anything with the potential to grow quickly in a slow-growing global economy.

But tech stocks in the S&P 500 dipped 0.4 percent, the worst performance among the 11 sectors that make up the index, after several reported results that fell short of expectations.

Seagate Technology sank $6.71, or 17 percent, to $33.03 after the maker of hard drives and other electronic data storage reported weaker revenue and earnings than analysts had forecast.

MORE ENERGETIC: The price of crude was on track to rise by more than 1 percent for a second straight day, and shares of oil producers and other energy companies benefited.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 1.6 percent, most among the 11 sectors that make up the index. Devon Energy rose $1.19, or 3.7 percent, to $32.93, and Marathon Oil climbed 96 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $29.14.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.01, or 2.2 percent, to $47.35 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 87 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $49.69.

COMMODITIES: Metals prices also rose strongly, which helped to lift shares of mining companies and other raw-material producers.

Copper jumped 9 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $2.83 per pound, while gold was flat at $1,254.30 per ounce and silver rose 16 cents to $16.61 per ounce.

Miner Freeport-McMoRan had the biggest gain among stocks in the S&P 500. It rose $1.22, or 9.4 percent, to $14.18. Newmont Mining had the second-biggest jump, up $1.94, or 5.7 percent, to $35.84.

YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.31 percent from 2.26 percent late Monday. The two-year yield climbed to 1.38 percent from 1.36 percent, and the 30-year yield rose to 2.89 percent from 2.83 percent.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1692 from $1.1645 late Monday. The dollar inched up to 111.55 Japanese yen from 111.11 yen, and the British pound rose to $1.3062 from $1.3036.

FED MEETING: The Federal Reserve's policymaking committee is beginning a two-day meeting, but investors expect to see few fireworks when it announces its decision on interest rates Wednesday.

The central bank has already raised rates three times since December, and most investors expect the next rate increase to come later this year or in 2018.

MARKETS ABROAD: France's CAC 40 climbed 1 percent, Germany's DAX gained 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.9 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 percent, South Korea's Kospi index dipped 0.5 percent and the Han Seng in Hong Kong was virtually flat.

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