Stocks edge toward record territory as investors parse fresh round of earnings

U.S. stocks rose at the start of trade Tuesday as investors remained glued to a steady stream of corporate results.

What are major indexes doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.26%  rose 128 points, or 0.5%, to 26,508, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.24%  rose 10 points, or 0.3%, to 2,916. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.37% was up 27 points at 8,003, a rise of 0.3%.

Read: Stock market at ‘risk of a melt-up, not a meltdown,’ warns BlackRock’s Larry Fink

The gains left the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time closing high of 2,930.75 set on Sept. 20.

What’s driving the market?

Investors are poring over quarterly earnings reports released Tuesday morning, with Bank of America Corp. BAC, -2.21%  stock following on the lead of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +0.34% and Citigroup Inc. C, +0.76% issuing earnings that failed to surpass low expectations analysts had for the bank in the first quarter.

Dow components UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -1.25%  and Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +2.55%  shares, on the other hand, beat Wall Street expectations for revenue and earnings in the first quarter, with UnitedHealth boosting its full year outlook.

UnitedHealth shares rose 1.7% Tuesday, while Johnson & Johnson stock rose 1.3%, helping lead the blue chip index higher, within 1.1% of its all-time highs.

The Nasdaq is off a similar amount from its high-water mark set on Aug. 29.

Analysts have penciled in a year-over-year decline in S&P 500 corporate profit for the first quarter, which would mark the first fall in three years.

What stocks are in focus?

Netflix Inc. NFLX, +2.03%  will be in the spotlight when it reports after the closing bell. Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.33% and Walt Disney Co. DIS, -1.14%  have unveiled their own visions for streaming television

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