Stocks Edging Up Midday

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock indexes edged higher on Tuesday following stronger-than-expected earnings reports from the makers of Kellogg's cereal, Oreo cookies and others. Markets around the world were mostly steady, while bond yields were stable and commodity prices dipped modestly.

The S&P 500 is on pace to close October with its seventh straight month of gains, its longest such streak in more than four years.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,576, as of 1:15 p.m. Eastern time. It's been on a gentle upward slope for most of this year, and its modest decline of 0.3 percent on Monday followed seven straight weeks of gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,369, and the Nasdaq composite rose 26 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,724.

FOOD BINGE: Several food companies were among the market's top performers after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings.

Kellogg jumped $3.79, or 6.4 percent, to $62.66. Revenue from North America was better than some analysts expected, and the company made more in operating profit from each $1 of sales.

Mondelez International gained $2.35, or 6 percent, to $41.65 after it reported revenue gains in Latin America, Europe and North America.

GROWING: Fertilizer maker Mosaic jumped to the largest gain in the S&P 500, up $1.78, or 8.5 percent, to $22.63. It reported earnings for the latest quarter that were well above analysts' expectations, but it also cut its dividend.

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Rockwell Automation surged after it received a buyout bid worth $215 per share in cash and stock. The company said it rejected the unsolicited bid it received from Emerson Electric on Oct. 10.

Rockwell Automation jumped $15.76, or 8.4 percent, to $202.76. Emerson Electric fell $1.63, or 2.4 percent, to $65.71.

THREADBARE: Under Armour recorded the largest loss in the S&P 500 after it said demand for its sporting gear in North America weakened last quarter. It also lowered its forecast for earnings this year for the second time in three months. Its Class A shares fell $2.78, or 17 percent, to $13.63.

FEELING GOOD: Confidence among U.S. consumers hit its highest level last month in nearly 17 years, a report on Tuesday showed. It's the latest piece of encouraging evidence that the economy continues to improve. The increased strength is raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates from the current record low.

CENTRAL BANK WATCH: The Bank of Japan decided on Tuesday to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels, though it cut its outlook for inflation. It's just one of several major central banks meeting this week on interest rates.

The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates on Thursday, which would be the first increase in in a decade.

The Federal Reserve will wrap up a two-day meeting on Wednesday, though most economists expect it to wait until its December gathering to raise rates for the third time this year.

More attention is on President Donald Trump's choice for the next Fed chair. He's expected to make the announcement on Thursday, and the leading candidate appears to be Jerome "Jay" Powell, who is already a member of the Fed's board.

BUSY WEEK AHEAD: Besides the central-bank decisions on interest rates and the expected announcement of the next Fed chair, investors are also looking for an update on progress toward Washington's attempts to cut income-tax rates.

A cut would help boost profits for companies, and stocks of smaller companies in particular have been rising and falling in sync with expectations for tax cuts.

At the end of the week, the government will unveil the month's most anticipated economic data, its jobs report. Economists expect to see continued strength in hiring.

In the meantime, companies continue to report their earnings results for the July-through-September quarter. More than half the companies in the S&P 500 have already reported their results, and most have come in above Wall Street's expectations.

YIELDS: Bond yields held steady as prices for Treasurys were close to flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.37 percent, and the two-year yield ticked up to 1.59 percent from 1.58 percent late Monday. The 30-year Treasury slipped to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent.

STOCKS ABROAD: The French CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent, and the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index held steady, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.9 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar from inched up to 113.61 Japanese yen from 113.18 yen late Monday. The euro ticked up to $1.1649 from $1.1637, and the British pound rose to $1.3285 from $1.3199.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 9 cents to $54.24 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 24 cents to $60.83 per barrel.

Gold slipped $7.70 to $1,270.00 per ounce, silver lost 18 cents to $16.67 per ounce and copper dipped a penny to $3.11 per pound.

(BE)