US stocks advanced in early trade on Tuesday following better-than-expected earnings from Ford Motor Co, 3M Co and United Parcel Service.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 3.78 points, or 0.28 percent, to trade at 1,338.60 at 9:40 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20.47 points, or 0.16 percent, to trade at 12,500.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.11 percent.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) shares advanced 2.96 percent to $16.00 after reporting better-than-expected first quarter earnings. Profit was $2.6 billion or $0.61 per share, up from $2.1 billion or $0.50 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose to $33.1 billion. Analysts expected a net profit of $0.50 per share on $30.5 billion revenue.

3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) shares advanced 0.76 percent to $94.88. The company reported first quarter net income of $1.49 per share compared to $1.29 per share in the same quarter last year and against analysts’ estimation of $1.44 per share.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) shares advanced 1.26 percent to $74.54. Its first quarter net income surged to $623 million or $1.24 per share compared to $334 million or$0.66 per share in the year-ago period. The company also raised its full year guidance to a range of $4.16 to $4.34 per share against analysts’ estimation of $4.25 per share.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares plunged 5.79 percent to $237.10 as it guided second quarter earnings below Street view. The company expects second quarter earnings of $50 million to $62 million or $0.93 to $1.15 a share.

Investors are likely to focus on the two-day meeting of the Fed which kicks off today. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference on Wednesday after the Fed’s policy announcement. The key issue is likely to be inflation.

US stocks ended mixed on Monday as inflation concerns weighed after Kimberly-Clark warned of earnings pressure from commodity prices.
The euro advanced 0.23 percent to 1.4616 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.17 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.27 percent to $111.98/barrel and gold futures declined 0.43 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 29.77 points, DAX30 up by 37.86 points and CAC 40 up by 13.23 points.