April 24, 2018 / 2:16 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall St posts slight gains as U.S. bond yield hits 3 pct

* Caterpillar among four Dow members to top estimates

* 3M, Travelers drop after results

* Google-parent Alphabet dips on worries of rising costs

* Indexes up: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.27 pct, Nasdaq 0.29 pct (Updates to open)

By Sruthi Shankar

April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as strong earnings from Caterpillar, Verizon and a host of other big names boosted optimism about corporate America’s health, but the gains were curbed by rising bond yields.

The yield on the 10-year U.S Treasury notes hit 3 percent for the first time since 2014, due to a growing supply of government debt and accelerating inflation as commodity prices gained.

Caterpillar, which serves as a bellwether for global economic activity jumped 4 percent, while Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines-maker United Tech rose 1.3 percent. Both companies topped quarterly profit estimates and raised their full-year earnings forecasts.

The results also run contrary to a 0.4 percent fall in the S&P industrials index this year due to fears of a tit-for-tat trade war with China.

“Two big-cap companies, industrials and global in nature, beating estimates, and the takeaway being that fundamentals remain strong for corporate America,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

About 18 percent of the S&P 500 companies had reported results as of Monday, with 78 percent topping profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

That has pushed up analysts’ estimates for earnings growth in the quarter to nearly 20 percent, from 18.6 percent just over than a week back, making it the strongest in seven years.

One dampener was Google-parent Alphabet, which dipped 2.5 percent as investors focused on rising costs rather than the profit beat.

“On balance, the numbers were pretty good and some of the issues related to spending are idiosyncratic to the business. I don’t think its going to indict the entire sector,” said Luschini.

At 10:01 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 65.45 points, or 0.27 percent, at 24,514.14, the S&P 500 was up 7.14 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,677.43 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 20.42 points, or 0.29 percent, at 7,149.02.

Coca-Cola gained 2 percent after its revenue beat estimates, helped by higher demand for Coke Zero Sugar and new flavors of Diet Coke. Verizon jumped 1.3 percent after its profit beat expectations.

3M fell 6.1 percent after it managed to only match profit estimates.

A drop in sales for the screen glass unit of telecoms parts producer Corning Inc may also add to growing market nerves about demand for high-end smartphones.

Oil rose above $75 a barrel to its highest since November 2014, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.09-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 42 new highs and 23 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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