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Stocks inch ahead on strong earnings reports; food companies climb

Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of

Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the NYSE on  Oct. 24, 2017.  Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks inched ahead on Tuesday after the makers of Kellogg’s cereal and Oreo cookies joined the parade of companies reporting stronger-than-expected profits.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.1 percent, to 2,575.26, the latest tick higher in what’s been a remarkably smooth ride this year. The index closed out October with its seventh straight month of gains, the longest such streak in more than four years.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28.50, or 0.1 percent, to 23,377.24, and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.4 percent, to 6,727.67, a new record. Smaller stocks did better than the rest of the market, and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 0.8 percent, to 1,502.53.

Food companies helped lead the market higher after Kellogg and Mondelez International both reported stronger results for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Kellogg jumped $3.66, or 6.2 percent, to $62.53, and Mondelez rose $2.13, or 5.4 percent, to $41.43.

“It’s been a fantastic earnings season,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “People talk about taxes, low interest rates and all these other things, but what really drives the market is earnings.” — AP

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