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US stocks climb as earnings reports roll in

NEW YORK (AP) -- Solid earnings for a range of big companies helped nudge the stock market higher on Tuesday. The restaurant chain Chipotle and the cable giant Comcast surged after reporting better results than Wall Street expected.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,985 as of 12:10 p.m. Eastern time. That's less than a point from the all-time high the index reached on July 3. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,121. The Nasdaq composite advanced 35 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,460.

COMMENT: “The news today is pretty good,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. Kinahan pointed to a report out Tuesday that showed little sign of inflation and an overall stronger outlook for earnings. During conference calls to discuss quarterly results, more CEOs are taking an optimistic tone, he said, instead of warning about possible dangers.

“In the past, they all spent their time tempering expectations,” Kinahan said. “This earnings season we're not seeing that at all. I think people are taking comfort in it.”

MORE BURRITOS: After the market closed Monday, Chipotle Mexican Grill reported that stronger sales drove its quarterly profit up 26 percent. The restaurant chain's results beat analysts' expectations, even as it raised prices on a range of menu items. Chipotle surged $74.99, or 13 percent, to $665.07, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 index.

PLUGGED IN: Comcast, the country's largest cable company, reported quarterly profits that topped Wall Street's targets, as more people signed up for Internet service. Comcast gained 93 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $54.75.

COKE: Weak sales of Diet Coke and fruit juice weighed down Coca-Cola's second-quarter results, leading the company to post weaker revenue than Wall Street expected. Overall profit fell slightly. Coca-Cola's stock sank $1.21, or 3 percent, to $41.20.

PRICE WATCH: U.S. consumer prices inched up 0.3 percent in June, with most of the increase coming from higher largest jump in gasoline prices, according to the Labor Department. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, were up just 0.1 percent. Over the past year, core prices are up 1.9 percent, close to the Federal Reserve's target rate for inflation.

BIG WEEK: Nearly a third of the big companies in the S&P 500 index will announce their quarterly results this week, including AT&T and Boeing on Wednesday, followed by Visa and Amazon on Thursday. Apple and Microsoft report after the closing bell on Tuesday.

EUROPE: Major stock markets in Europe were higher Tuesday. Germany's DAX rose 1.3 percent while France's CAC-40 gained 1.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 1 percent.

BONDS AND OIL: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.49 percent. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 27 cents to $102.59 a barrel.

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