NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks closed higher Tuesday thanks to a collage of strong earnings and higher energy prices, just before investors received blowout earnings news from tech titan Apple ( AAPL) after the closing bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 25 points, or 0.2% higher, at 11,117. The S&P 500 gained 10 points, or 0.8%, at 1207 and the Nasdaq went ahead by 20 points, or 0.8%, to 2500. After the closing bell, Apple blew past both top and bottom-line expectations, saying it earned $3.33 a share in the second quarter on $13.5 billion in revenue thanks to improving iPhone sales, among other items. Shares, which declined 1% in the afternoon, were surging 6% in extended trading. Yahoo! ( YHOO) also said it earned 22 cents a share in the first quarter, or 15 cents after excluding items, highlighted by a 20% rise in display advertising since the year-ago period, CEO Carol Bartz said in a statement. But net sales fell just short of Street expectations, coming to $1.13 billion. Shares fell over 2% in the afterhours session. "I think most of the Goldman stuff has now been worked into the market so it comes down to earnings, which have generally been pretty good," said David Chalupnik, head of equities at First American Funds, earlier in the day. He believes markets will drift higher this earnings season, unlike those of the recent past when macroeconomic concerns overshadowed promising results. "I think investors are getting more comfortable with the sustainability of the economic recovery, which was an issue in the past two earnings seasons. This time around, I think that confidence in the recovery will allow earnings to drive the market forward," Chalupnik said. Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1% while Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.07%. The FTSE in London added 1% and the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 1.7%.
The EconomyThe American Petroleum Institute issued its weekly read on crude oil inventories late Tuesday, offering a surprise drawdown. The industry group reported stockpiles fell by 741,000 barrels last week, even though analysts polled by Platts were expecting a build of 300,000 barrels for the week ending April 16.
Commodities and the DollarIncreasing energy futures were giving a lift to related equities today, making energy one of the leading stock sectors during the session. The May