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Stocks edge higher on earnings news, Bernanke

A sign for Wall St. is shown outside the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 15, 2013 in New York. World stock markets wavered between gains and losses Wednesday July 17, 2013 as investors remained cautious ahead of testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing with slight gains after earnings gains from major U.S. companies and reassurance from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that there was no "preset course" for ending the bank's massive bond-purchasing program.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,470 Wednesday. American Express and Caterpillar held the Dow back.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,680. The Nasdaq composite rose 11 points, 0.3 percent, to 3,610.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.49 percent from 2.53 percent.

Toy maker Mattel sank 7 percent to $43.16 after its second-quarter income plunged.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was thin at 3.1 billion shares.