Wall Street managed a modest advance Wednesday as investors concentrated on solid second-quarter earnings and shrugged off higher oil prices and a drop in petroleum reserves.
Investors were anticipating more good earnings news after some companies released strong quarterly results.
Stocks briefly gave up some early gains after the Energy Department reported that crude oil and gasoline supplies declined again last week. Some production in the Gulf of Mexico was disrupted by Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricane Dennis.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43.50, or 0.4 percent, to 10,557.39. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gained 1.08, or 0.1 percent, to 1223.29, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.96, or 0.04 percent, to 2144.11.
A handful of companies reported earnings after the close of regular trading.
Yum Brands, operator of the KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains, fell 67 cents in after-hours trading after slipping 55 cents, to $51.71, in regular trading. Yum beat analyst estimates but lowered third- and fourth-quarter guidance.
Advanced Micro Devices rose 54 cents in the extended session after losing 12 cents and closing at $19.25 in the regular session. AMD beat analyst estimates, although its second-quarter earnings fell 65 percent from a year ago.
Apple Computer picked up 21 cents after hours, following an 11-cent gain to $38.35 in regular trading. Apple reported the highest revenue and earnings in its history.
Abbott Laboratories, maker of health care products, fell $2.06, to $47.65, after the company's guidance for the third quarter came in below analysts' expectations.
Harley-Davidson rose 68 cents, to $50.38. Second-quarter profit declined 4 percent from last year, but the results beat Wall Street expectations, and the motorcycle maker raised its full-year earnings target.
Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper publisher, fell 46 cents, to $72.95. It reported a slight decline in second-quarter earnings.
New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 11.02, to 7400.83.
American Stock Exchange index fell 21.41, to 1562.37.
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 3.14, to 667.65.
NYSE: 1.82 billion shares, down from 1.94 billion on Tuesday. Decliners outpaced advancers 5 to 4.
Nasdaq: 1.52 billion shares, down from 1.64 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 5 to 4.
Crude oil for August delivery: $60.01, down 61 cents.
Gold for current delivery: $423.90 a troy ounce, down from $426.30 on Tuesday.