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U.S. equities got off to a strong start today. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 200 points, with Caterpillar contributing the most gains .
The S&P 500 advanced 0.5 percent, with financials and materials rising more than 1 percent to lead advancers and Nasdaq Composite Index topped 6,000 for the first time. Stocks in Europe and emerging markets climbed, as risk appetite fueled by the outcome of France’s election continued. 


Some of the firms that posted quarterly results before the bell:


Caterpillar: posted EPS of $1.28 and sales of $9.822 billion, versus expected EPS of 62 cents and $9.271 billion revenue forecast.
McDonald's: posted EPS of $1.47 and revenue of $5.68 billion, versus expected EPS of $1.33 and sales of $5.53 billion.
3M: posted EPS of $2.16 and revenue of $7.685 billion, versus expected EPS of $2.06 and sales of $7.472 billion.
DuPont: posted EPS of $1.64 and sales of $7.743 billion, versus expected EPS of $1.39 and revenue of $7.504 billion.

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