U.S. stocks mixed after strong Caterpillar earns


In this Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, photo, Trader Michael Urkonis, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street appeared headed for a day of trade without drama Monday Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


NEW YORK — U.S. stocks were mixed in midday trading despite of encouraging signs about the manufacturing sector, a key driver of economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 70 points to 13,895 and the Nasdaq composite average rose 11 points to 3,160. The S&P 500 dropped less than a point to 1,502.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said its adjusted fourth-quarter net income exceeded analysts’ expectations. The stock was the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones, rising $2.07 to $97.65.

The government said orders for long-lasting goods rose in December by 4.6 percent, helped by a 10 percent gain in orders for new aircraft.

A Realtor group said a measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell last month. Sales were held back by a limited supply of available homes.