US stocks back to records as corporate profits keep rising

U.S. stock indexes returned to record heights Tuesday, as corporate profits continue to come in better 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 turn lagging the rest of the market after results for Seagate Technology and others in the industry fell short of expectations.

Treasury yields rose as the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting on interest-rate policy.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose nearly 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,478 as of 3:20 p.m. Eastern time. If the gain holds, it would be the first for the index in four days and return it to an all-time high.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 100 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,613. The Nasdaq composite was close to flat at 6,411. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks rose 12, or 0.8 percent, to 1,450, which would also mark an all-time high.

EARTH MOVING: Caterpillar jumped $6.22, or 5.7 percent, to $114.40 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 $7.82, or 5.1 percent, to $159.67 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 0.2 percent after several reported results that fell short of expectations.

Seagate Technology sank $6.32, or 15.9 percent, to $33.44 after the maker of hard drives and other electronic data…

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