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Stock indexes power higher as corporate earnings impress investors; 3M, Caterpillar lead Dow

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NEW YORK — Stocks are closing with big gains after several major U.S. companies reported higher profits.

Caterpillar and 3M led the gains among industrial stocks, which rose significantly more than the rest of the market. Caterpillar rose 5 percent and 3M rose 4 percent after each company reported earnings that impressed investors.

PHOTO: This Oct. 2, 2014 photo shows a Wall Street sign adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Earnings gains from General Motors, 3M and other big companies are driving stocks sharply higher in early trading Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
This Oct. 2, 2014 photo shows a Wall Street sign adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Earnings gains from General Motors, 3M and other big companies are driving stocks sharply higher in early trading Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 216 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,677 Thursday. It was up as much as 306 points in afternoon trading.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 23 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,950. The Nasdaq composite rose 69 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,452.

Crude oil rose $1.57 to settle at $82.09 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28 percent.

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