U.S. stocks hit session highs in early afternoon trading on Tuesday, with the Dow industrials up 1 percent as investors focused more on strong earnings and manufacturing data and less on the civil unrest in the Middle East.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123.18 points, or 1.04 percent, to 12,015.11. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 19.53 points, or 1.52 percent, to 1,305.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 51.27 points, or 1.90 percent, to 2,751.35.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)