By Anna Isaac
U.S. stocks drifted higher Tuesday, buoyed by the latest flurry of third-quarter earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 18 points, or 0.1%, to 26846 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 edged up 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%.
Biogen shares climbed 40% after the pharmaceutical company said it would seek regulatory approval for a drug that treats Alzheimer's disease. Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 5.2% after the drugmaker reported favorable results from a trial for a cancer treatment.
Meanwhile, shares of consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble gained 4.2% and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson climbed 8.5% after both companies reported better-than-expected earnings.
Later Tuesday, investors will get results from more companies, including tariff-hit Whirlpool and social-media company Snap. Overall market moves have been muted as of late even with the corporate earnings season well underway, keeping major indexes in a tight trading range.
The S&P 500 is up just 1.2% in October, while the Dow industrials are down 0.3%.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 was mostly flat as Brexit uncertainty weighed on investor appetite ahead of another day of voting by U.K. lawmakers on the terms of the nation's exit from the European Union.
"Investors want to keep the status quo unless proven otherwise," said Geoffrey Yu, head of the U.K. investment office at USB Wealth Management. "They have learned with trade talks and Brexit, if you try and position too aggressively for the downside, you might just get smacked in the face."
The British pound fell 0.4% against the dollar. Analysts expect the pound to face further volatility in the days ahead.
Among European stocks, shares in Just Eat soared 25% in London after Prosus made a GBP4.9 billion ($6.3 billion) offer to buy the food-delivery company. The deal was swiftly rejected by Just Eat's board.
China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5% after President Trump said Monday that a trade deal between the U.S. and China "is coming along very well," leading to speculation that the two nations may reach a tariff agreement in the coming months.
His top trade negotiator also said that the U.S. aims to finish the first phase of talks by mid-November when the two countries meet in Chile.
Later Tuesday, markets will get an update on the health of the housing market in the U.S. when the National Association of Realtors publishes figures on existing-home sales for last month. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect sales to have fallen by 0.2%.
Akane Otani contributed to this article
Write to Anna Isaac at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2019 09:53 ET (13:53 GMT)Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.