NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks were mixed in midday trading despite of encouraging signs about the manufacturing sector, a key driver of economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 70 points to 13,895 and the Nasdaq composite average rose 11 points to 3,160. The S&P 500 dropped less than a point to 1,502.
Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said its adjusted fourth-quarter net income exceeded analysts' expectations. The stock was the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones, rising $2.07 to $97.65.
The government said orders for long-lasting goods rose in December by 4.6 percent, helped by a 10 percent gain in orders for new aircraft.
A Realtor group said a measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell last month. Sales were held back by a limited supply of available homes.
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