NEW YORK — Global stock markets steadied and U.S. markets advanced Tuesday, as investors were encouraged by strong results from UPS, Ford and other big companies.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 171 points, or 1 percent, to 17,612 as of 2 p.m. Eastern, near its high for the trading day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 23 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,090 and the Nasdaq composite rose 45 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,085.
HOME DELIVERY: UPS rose $5.18, or 5.5 percent, to $100.32. The company saw profits jump from a year ago, helped by stronger business overseas. UPS earned $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per share, for the three months ended June 30. A year earlier it earned $454 million, or 49 cents per share. UPS is sometimes seen a proxy for the global economy because of its huge role in delivering goods all over the world on a daily basis.
DRIVING PROFITS: Ford shares rose 36 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $14.92. The carmaker said profits jumped 44 percent in the second quarter, helped by higher global sales and higher prices for premium trucks and SUVs. The profit of 47 cents a share easily beat Wall Street's expectations of 37 cents a share.
DUPONT STRUGGLES: Chemical giant DuPont fell 55 cents, or 1 percent, to $56.19. The company lowered its full-year outlook, citing weaker sales in its farm products business. DuPont also cut its dividend, a rare move for any company.
CHINA FALL: The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.7 percent after trading down as much as 4 percent earlier in the day. The index had plunged 8.5 percent on Monday, its biggest drop since February 2007, despite concerted efforts by the Chinese government to stem the market's slide.
U.S. ECONOMY: Traders were turning their attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as they try to assess when interest rates will be raised. Fed policymakers started a two-day meeting on Tuesday, but few central bank watchers expect a rate hike. Many expect the Fed to begin its next cycle of rate increases in September or December. Ultra-low interest rates have been a boon for stock and bond markets, and many questions remain about how markets will react to the first increase since the 2008 financial crisis.
Ford, UPS and DuPont are just a few of the more than 170 companies in the S&P 500 that report their results this week.
ENERGY: Brent crude slipped 15 cents to $53.31 a barrel in London, a day after entering a bear market. Brent reached a recent high of $67.77 on May 6. The U.S. benchmark rose 57 cents to $47.97 a barrel in New York. U.S. oil entered a bear market last Thursday, falling 21 percent below its recent peak of $61.01 on June 23.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent from 2.22 percent. The dollar rose to 123.52 Japanese yen from 123.27 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.1061 from $1.1087.
METALS: Precious and industrial metals futures ended mixed. Gold slipped 20 cents to $1,096.20 an ounce, silver rose four cents to $14.63 an ounce and copper gained five cents to $2.40 a pound.