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Goldman-SachsNEW YORK: US stocks advanced on Tuesday, led higher after Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson reported solid earnings.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the largest US investment bank, rose 1.1 percent to $155.50 after posting stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, earning more money from bond trading than analysts had forecast.

Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, up 3 percent to $62.30, was the top boost to the Dow after reporting stronger-than-expected sales and earnings, helped by the weaker dollar and higher sales of prescription drugs.

"It is kind of nice to see a couple of big headline companies come in with positive surprises after a string of headline companies delivering negative surprises over the last week," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

"Investors really are going to be focusing on earnings and trying to get a read on guidance -- guidance is going to be the name of the game right now."

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 45.26 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,246.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4.41 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,309.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 9.73 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,745.11.

Companies also scheduled to report quarterly results later on Tuesday include Intel Corp, International Business Machines Corp, Yahoo Inc and CSX Corp.

Copyright Reuters, 2011

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