The markets opened higher boosted by upbeat earnings news from Microsoft. The Dow rose 17 points to 12,395 while Nasdaq added 9 ponts to 2370.
On the upside
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) posted profits that handily beat estimates due to strong global sales of its operating system software.
Shares of diversified manufacturer Honeywell International (NYSE: HON) rose following a better than expected earnings report and a strong outlook.
Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) joined the chorus of companies warning about weak conditions for the U.S. economy and looking to the rest of the world for growth.
On the downside
Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) posted lower profits due to slumping motorcycle sales with overseas gains more than offset by weak demand in the U.S.
Shares of aviation engineering firm Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI) fell to a new 52-week low despite reporting higher revenues and earnings.
Analysts downgraded Integrated Devices (Nasdaq: IDTI) due to softness in the semiconductor sector.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 6 points to 698.