Stocks close with gains on strong earnings reports

A Wall Street sign outside the New York A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan on July 15, 2013. Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

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Stocks are closing higher as more companies turn in solid earnings.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 9.9 points, about 0.5 percent, to 1,983.5. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 61.8 points, or nearly 0.4 percent, to 17,113.5. The Nasdaq composite was up 31.3 points, about 0.7 percent, at 4,456.

Lockheed Martin rose 3 percent after the defense contractor's profit and revenue beat analysts' forecasts.

Comcast rose 2 percent after reporting higher profit than the market was expecting. The giant cable TV company signed up more subscribers for Internet service.

Bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.47 percent.

CONSUMER PRICES./b> Data released Tuesday showed the cost of living rose in June, paced by a jump in gasoline that is now reversing, bolstering Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's view that recent increases were temporary. The consumer price index increased 0.3 percent after a 0.4 percent gain the prior month, matching median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, figures from the Labor Department showed.

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Investors have been scrutinizing inflation data to determine when the Fed will begin raising its benchmark interest rate. Last week Yellen told lawmakers the central bank plans to press on with record easing to combat persistent weakness in the job market.

This story was supplemented with reports from Bloomberg News.

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