U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, led higher after Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson reported solid earnings.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc , the largest U.S. investment bank, rose 1.1 percent to $155.50 after posting stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, earning more money from bond trading than analysts had forecast.

Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson , up 3 percent to $62.30, was the top boost to the Dow after reporting stronger-than-expected sales and earnings, helped by the weaker dollar and higher sales of prescription drugs.

It is kind of nice to see a couple of big headline companies come in with positive surprises after a string of headline companies delivering negative surprises over the last week, said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Investors really are going to be focusing on earnings and trying to get a read on guidance -- guidance is going to be the name of the game right now.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 45.26 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,246.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 4.41 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,309.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 9.73 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,745.11.

Companies also scheduled to report quarterly results later on Tuesday include Intel Corp , International Business Machines Corp , Yahoo Inc and CSX Corp .

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)