U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday, overcoming weak Citigroup results and concerns circling Apple after news of Chief Executive Steve Jobs' medical leave.
Investors focused instead on increased price targets for Google
Shares of Apple Inc
Shares of the bellwether technology company pared earlier losses and eased pressure on stock indexes. Apple has about a 21 percent weighting in the Nasdaq 100 <.NDX>, which edged up 0.2 percent.
To me, it seemed like the news was troubling for the company, but it's Apple, it ain't going to matter, said Stephen Massocca, managing director of Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.
After the closing bell, Apple Inc reported better-than-expected revenue, fueled by blockbuster holiday sales of the iPhone and iPad, sending shares up 4.3 percent to $355.22 in extended trade.
Before the earnings were released, Massocca had said he believed the iPad maker would report strong results and shorts will be picking shards of glass out of their eyes.
During the regular session, the news about Apple and its stock decline were offset by a gain in shares of Google, up 2.5 percent at $639.63. Google's stock advanced after several brokerages raised their price target on the company's stock ahead of the world's No. 1 Internet search engine's earnings later this week.
The Dow also rose moderately, boosted by gains in Caterpillar Inc
Also lifting the Dow was Boeing Co
After the close, International Business Machines Corp
Optimism about earnings has helped bolster stocks in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 posting its seventh straight week of gains on Friday.
Aside from Apple, gains were tempered in regular trading by Citigroup Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 50.55 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 11,837.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 1.78 points, or 0.14 percent, to 1,295.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 10.55 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,765.85.
Earlier, the Dow traded as high intraday as 11,858.78, a fresh 52-week high. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also climbed intraday and closed just slightly below their fresh 52-week highs.
The financial SPDR exchange-traded fund
Bank of America Corp
Volume was fair with about 8.5 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, slightly above last year's estimated daily average of 8.47 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,626 to 1,374, while on the Nasdaq, decliners slightly beat advancers by 1,369 to 1,278.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)