US stocks advance, helped by Chinese economic data and Apple's quarterly results


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NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes rose Tuesday, putting the market on track for a fourth gain in a row, following an encouraging report on the Chinese economy as well as strong quarterly results from Apple and other big companies. Stocks continued to recover from last week's plunge.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 168 points, or 1 percent, to 16,568 as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,933 and the Nasdaq composite rose 75 points, or 1.7 percent, to 4,391.

CHINA RELIEF: 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, and has been a key reason why financial markets have been volatile lately. Signs of a slowdown in Europe have also been worrying investors.

THE QUOTE: "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.

APPLE OF MY "i'': Apple gained $2.26, or 2.3 percent, to $102.02 after its quarterly results easily beat analysts' expectations. The Cupertino, California-based company said it earned $1.42 a share last quarter, helped by strong sales of the latest version of the iPhone.

FLAT SODA: Coca-Cola fell $2.51, or 6 percent, to $40.78 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.

WANT A BURGER WITH YOUR FLAT COKE?: McDonald's also came out with figures that disappointed investors. The company said sales declined 3.3 percent globally, while in Asia, a key area for the company, sales fell 9.9 percent. McDonald's shares fell 59 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $90.98

ENERGY, BONDS: Oil prices were rising after weeks of declines. Benchmark U.S. crude increased 43 cents to $82.33 a barrel in New York. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent.

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