U.S. stocks mixed after strong Caterpillar earns

1/28/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Wall-Street-154

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)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.