Caterpillar, 3M Lead Stocks Up

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are edging higher Tuesday morning as construction equipment maker Caterpillar and Post-it note maker 3M lead a rally in industrial companies, while banks are climbing along with interest rates. Steep losses for drugmaker Biogen, health insurer Centene and scientific equipment maker Waters are pulling health care companies lower. Most stocks are up in early trading after sharp losses Monday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,567 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 170 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,444 thanks to big gains from Caterpillar and 3M. Combined, those companies added 134 points to the Dow's gain. The Nasdaq composite added 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,591. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,503.

INDUSTRIAL POWER: Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar continued to rally after it raised its profit forecast. The company said construction equipment revenue jumped in the third quarter and demand from China is strong, while it's getting a lot of business from the oil and gas markets in North America. Its stock gained $7.44, or 5.7 percent, to $139.12, and it's up 50 percent in 2017. 3M expects a bigger profit and better sales after demand for electronics and energy products rose, and it added $11.61, or 5.2 percent, to $233.16.

Caterpillar and 3M are two of the biggest winners on the 30-company Dow average this year. The top gainer is aerospace company Boeing, which rose $2.53, or 1 percent, to $264.85, giving it a 70-percent jump since the start of 2017.

Tool maker Stanley Black & Decker also raised its profit projection and climbed $5.27, or 3.3 percent, to $163.46.

HEALTH WOES: Health care companies took steep losses. Drugmaker Biogen fell $23.62, or 7.2 percent, to $304.93 as analysts were unenthusiastic about revenue from its multiple sclerosis drugs. Eli Lilly sank $1.06, or 1.2 percent, to $86.12 in spite of a solid third quarter. Lilly said it may sell its Elanco animal health business. Elanco had been an important part of Lilly's strategy as important older drugs like Zyprexa and Cymbalta lost patent protection.

Waters Corp. lost $3.96, or 2.1 percent, to $183.67 and Medicaid program administrator Centene shed $4.47, or 4.6 percent, to $93.72.

DOWN THE DRAIN: Appliance maker Whirlpool had a weak quarter and its ties to Sears are ending after 100 years. Sears says it's no longer selling Maytag appliances or other Whirlpool products effective immediately. The company recently told its stores that Whirlpool was making demands that would have made it hard to sell its appliances at competitive prices. Whirlpool lost $19.30, or 10.6 percent, to $163.16 and Sears was unchanged at $6.56.

BONDS: Bond prices continued to fall. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.40 percent from 2.37 percent. That helped banks, as higher interest rates boost their profits on lending.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 31 cents to $52.21 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 23 cents to $57.60 a barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 113.76 yen from 113.73 yen. The euro rose to $1.1765 from $1.1738.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent and the French CAC-40 gained less than 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 in London lost 0.1 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose for the 16th day in a row, which extended a post-World War II record. The index added 0.5 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.5 percent and Seoul's Kospi was unchanged.

(BE)