Wall Street boosted by strong results

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NYSE tradersImage source, Getty Images

Strong earnings from Caterpillar and McDonald's tipped US markets into positive territory on Tuesday.

Caterpillar saw a quarterly sales rise of 9.6%, while McDonald's posted its highest comparable sales growth in five years. Both companies rose more than 4.7%.

The Dow Jones rose 0.47% to 21,613.43, while the wider S&P 500 index added 0.29% to 2,477.08.

The tech-focused Nasdaq index was up 0.02% at 6,412.17.

The Nasdaq was weighed down by Alphabet, Google's parent company, which saw share prices fall after it reported its earnings.

But the Dow and S&P 500 reached another set of records.

The gains occurred across a variety of sectors, led by energy and financial stocks. The healthcare sector was among those posting losses, after the US Senate voted to begin the debate on another health care reform bill, extending uncertainty for the industry.

Caterpillar, which makes heavy farming and construction machinery, is viewed as a bellwether stock for the economy because of its links to other industries.

The firm's stock price climbed nearly 6% after the company told investors it expects sales to come in higher than previously forecast, largely due to demand in China and North America.