Stocks Edge Higher Early Tuesday

(AP) -- U.S. stock indexes edged higher in early trading Tuesday, extending the market's gains from a day earlier. Banks and technology companies were among the biggest gainers. Energy stocks also rose. Health care and consumer-focused stocks lagged the most.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,505. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,356. Both indexes closed at record highs on Monday. The Nasdaq composite added 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,458. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was down less than 1 point to 1,440.

THE FED: Investors have their eye on the Federal Reserve, which was holding a two-day meeting of its policymakers. The panel was expected to deliver an update on the Fed's view of the economy Wednesday. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December. Traders will be listening for any indications that the central bank could move sooner on a rate increase and for details on the timing for when the Fed might start shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds.

FINANCIALS RALLY: Investors sent shares in banks and other financial companies higher. Progressive rose $1.41, or 3 percent, to $47.72.

TECH RISING: Technology stocks were also among the big gainers. NetApp climbed $1.10, or 2.7 percent, to $41.73.

REVVED UP: AutoZone rose 0.6 percent after the auto parts reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat Wall Street's forecasts. The stock added $3.35 to $566.75.

COMBO MEAL: Bob Evans Farms jumped 5.6 percent after the maker of frozen foods agreed to be acquired by Post Holdings for $1.53 billion, or $77 a share. Shares in Bob Evans rose $4.08 to $77.01. Post, which makes cereals, including Honey Bunches of Oats and Fruity Pebbles, was down 4 cents to $85.80.

UNHEALTHY: Several health insurers were trading lower. Envision Healthcare slumped $2.27, or 4.8 percent, to $45.40. Aetna slid $2.03, or 1.3 percent, to $158.98.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.23 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 2 cents to $49.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 14 cents to $55.48 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 111.31 yen from 111.47 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1988 from $1.1953.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Global shares were mixed. In Europe, Germany's DAX was 0.1 percent lower, while France's CAC 40 was up 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.3 percent. In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 2.0 percent coming off a national holiday on Monday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.1 percent, while South Korea's Kospi lost nearly 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell nearly 0.4 percent.

(BE)