Stocks rise, helped by Chinese data, Apple results

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks were solidly higher in early trading Tuesday, the market's fourth straight day of advances, following an encouraging report on the Chinese economy as well as strong quarterly earnings from Apple and other big companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165 points, or 1 percent, to 16,565 as of 11:46 a.m. ET. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,933 and the Nasdaq composite rose 78 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,394.

China's economy expanded by 7.3 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Although growth slowed slightly from the previous quarter's 7.5 percent, analysts had expected a more marked slowdown, to 6.9 percent.

China has been a worry spot for investors for many weeks now and has been a reason why financial markets have been volatile lately. With Europe's economy clearly slowing down, what investors don't need is for China so slow down substantially as well.

"After last week's volatility in the financial markets, the last thing investors needed was bad news out of China," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

Consumer electronics giant Apple gained $2.20, or 2 percent, to $101.95 after the company's quarterly results easily beat analysts' expectations. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it earned $1.42 a share last quarter, helped by strong sales of the latest version of the iPhone.

Coca-Cola fell $2.72, or 6 percent, to $40.56 after the company warned it might not meet its previous financial targets. While its earnings came in roughly where analysts had expected them to be, Coke said it doesn't expect to meet its long-term target of high-single-digit growth. The company also announced it would undergo a $3 billion a year cost-cutting program by 2019.

McDonald's also came out with figures Tuesday that disappointed investors. The company said sales declined 3.3 percent globally, while in Asia, a key growth segment for the company, sales fell 9.9 percent. McDonald's shares fell 41 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $91.17.

Oil prices were moving solidly higher after weeks of declines. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 34 cents to $82.25 a barrel in New York. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.22 percent.