US stocks Tuesday moved higher in early trade, lifted by earnings from drug makers Pfizer and Merck that topped Wall Street estimates.
About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 49.39 points (0.29 percent) to 17,031.98.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.55 (0.18 percent) to 1,982.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 17.92 (0.40 percent) to 4,462.82.
Dow member Pfizer said a 16 percent rise in global oncology revenues helped blunt the hit from patent expirations of some of its drugs. Adjusted earnings translated into 58 cents per share, a penny above analyst expectations. Pfizer shares rose 0.1 percent.
Fellow drugmaker Merck, also in the Dow, gained 1.3 percent after earnings of 85 cents per share bested expectations by four cents. Better sales of diabetes medication Januvia/Janumet, anti-cholesterol drug Zetia/Vytorin and other medicines helped offset the effect of patent expirations.
UPS fell 3.2 percent as the delivery company said full-year earnings would be $4.90-5.00 per share, down from the April forecast of $5.05-$5.30 per share. The company said it was increasing spending to boost capacity for the November-December peak holiday season.
Tobacco company Reynolds American gained 1.2 percent after earnings came in at 89 cents per share, two cents above analyst expectations. The company cited higher market share for its Camel, Pall Mall and other brands.
The New York Times Company dropped 3.4 percent after second-quarter net income fell to $9.2 million from $20.1 million as lower advertising revenues offset gains in digital subscriptions.
Herbalife, a nutritional products marketer, sank 11.5 percent as second-quarter earnings fell 16.6 percent to $119.5 million.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.46 percent from 2.49 percent Monday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.23 percent from 3.26 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely