Skip to main content

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Stocks finished Tuesday higher, getting a lift from

better-than-expected Chinese economic growth data

.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 60.01 points, or 0.48%, to 12,482.07 Tuesday. The

S&P 500

ticked up 4.58 points to 1,293.67 and the

Nasdaq Composite

increased 17.41 points to 2,728.08.

Breadth within the Dow was positive with 23 of the index's 30 components finishing higher.

The best performers within the blue chips were drug giant

Merck

(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report

TheStreet Recommends

, networking company

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

and industrial company

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get n.a. Report

.

Merck shares rose 1.33% to $38.83. The company may be one of two companies bidding for hepatitis C drug maker

Inhibitex

(INHX)

, according to a

Minyanville

article citing a guess from ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum. The other company Schoenebaum guessed was

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

.

Inhibitex recently listed the two companies who have made a bid for it in a securities filing as

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report

and "Company B."

Shares of United Technologies rose 1.26% to $77.04. The industrial company is slated to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 25. The

average analyst estimate

for earnings per share is $1.43, according to

Zacks

.

Drexel Hamilton analyst Rick Whittington said Tuesday he thinks United Technologies' Otis, Carrier and Fire & Security divisions will see gains based on increased non-residential construction. He has a price target of $85 on the company. United Technologies currently has a

B grade along with a buy rating

from

TheStreet Ratings

with a price target of $89.21.

Shares of Cisco increased 1.31% to $19.31. The company said Tuesday it's added services to its Connected Grid portfolio, including a field area network (FAN) offering, among other things.

Although not one of the top gainers, shares of

Kraft Foods

(KFT)

increased 36 cents to $38.13.

Bloomberg

reported the company plans to lay off about 1,600 employees as it splits its company in half this year. Kraft will be divided into a

global snacks company and a North American grocery company.

The snacks business anticipates $32 billion in revenue and the grocery business expects $16 billion.

Kraft also expects net revenues for 2011 to increase about 10% and anticipates earnings for the year coming in at least $1.95 per share.

Kraft Foods is rated an A+ buy by

TheStreet Ratings

, which has a

price target of $44.49

.

The Dow's decliners included

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report

,

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

,

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report

,

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

,

HP

(HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report

and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report

.

The only two to fall more than 1% were JPMorgan, down 2.81% to $34.91, and Bank of America, which dropped 1.97% to $6.48.

--

Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Alexandra Zendrian

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

tips@thestreet.com

.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

Alexandra Zendrian

.