U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bet that a Senate race in Massachusetts could put President Obama's reform plans, especially those on healthcare, in jeopardy.
The S&P Healthcare Index <.GSPA> climbed 2.1 percent, led by Humana Inc
Pharmaceutical companies' shares also advanced, with Merck & Co
The market will look at very favorably because it appears we'll get some breaks on the more 'progressive' ideas that get floated around, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.
Breaks like that would be very helpful to the market going forward.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 70.51 points, or 0.67 percent, to 10,680.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 8.36 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,144.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 22.80 points, or 1.00 percent, to 2,310.79.
The Dow also received a major boost after Credit Suisse upgraded McDonald's Corp
McDonald's stock gained 1.9 percent to $63.49 and was the Dow's top percentage gainer not related to healthcare.
Kraft Foods Inc
In other acquisition news, Tyco International
Semiconductor stocks helped push the Nasdaq higher, with chipmaker Xilinx Inc
The PHLX Semiconductor index <.SOXX> advanced 1.2 percent.
Parker Hannifin Corp
The pace of corporate earnings builds later in the week, with IBM Corp
IBM's stock was up 0.9 percent at $132.97 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Google was up 1.5 percent at $588.69 on the Nasdaq. Goldman Sachs' shares advanced 0.5 percent to $166.06 and American Express' stock rose 1.3 percent to $42.91, both in NYSE trading.
(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)