Dow Continues March Higher

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Stocks finished modestly higher Tuesday as buying interest in the capital goods and materials sectors outweighed an earnings miss from Citigroup ( C) and concerns about the health of Apple ( AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51 points, or 0.4%, to close at 11,838, its highest level since June 2008. The S&P 500 edged up 1 point, or 0.1% to settle at 1,295, and the Nasdaq Composite tacked on about 11 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 2,766.

Boeing ( BA), Caterpillar and Alcoa ( AA) led the Dow higher. Boeing said it now expects to deliver its 787 aircraft in the third quarter . The market had already priced in the delay and the stock rose 3% to $72.26 in afternoon trades.

Breadth within the Dow was positive with 20 of its 30 components closing higher. The blue-chip index has now risen in four of the last five sessions, and is up 2.3% so far in 2011.

After the bell, IBM ( IBM) said revenues rose 7% to $29 billion, adjusting for currency. Profits rose 9% to $5.3 billion which translated into earnings of $4.18 per share, beating Wall Street's projection for earnings of $4.08 per share on revenue of $28.26 billion. Shares were rising 2.5% in extended trading.

Apple blew past earnings estimates as well. Earnings came in at $6.43 per share, more than $1 higher than Wall Street's consensus view. Revenues jumped to $26.7 billion vs. an average analysts' estimate of $24.38 billion. The stock was up 3% to $350.63 in aftermarket trading.

>>Apple, IBM earnings Live Blog

Apple shares dropped more than 2% to $340.65 in regular trading on news that CEO Steve Jobs' would take his second medical leave of absence in two years.

Analysts reacting to the news, however, remained optimistic in their long-term outlook for the stock, despite the near-term concerns about Jobs' condition. There were no downgrades on the news.

"Mr. Jobs' health wellness profile may not be what investors prefer, but we point out that Apple's strategic initiatives have not been derailed by past medical leaves," JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz wrote in a research note Tuesday.

The financial sector was weak Tuesday with Bank of America ( BAC) among the Dow's biggest laggards following disappointing results from Citigroup .

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