More than 400 of the S&P 500 companies have turned in first-quarter results, and 7 out of 10 have beaten Wall Street's earnings expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ. Those analysts estimate that earnings increased 5 percent in the first quarter and will pick up their pace through the rest of the year.
News of stronger hiring over the past three months briefly propelled the Dow over 15,000 on Friday, but it ended the week below that mark.
On Tuesday, the U.S. market followed Japanese and European indexes higher after they responded to good news about central bank stimulus and the German economy. The U.S. also got a lift from higher quarterly profits at satellite TV company DirecTV and watchmaker Fossil.
Fossil stock leapt $8.92, or 9 percent, to $107.88 after the company said higher sales lifted its earnings.
DirecTV, the country's largest provider of satellite TV services, surged $3.99, or 7 percent, to $61.95 after its earnings beat analysts' expectations. The company reported more subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America.
For the Dow, it was the 17th straight Tuesday of increases. The only day of the week with a longer series of consecutive gains is Wednesday, which logged a streak of 24 in 1968, Detrick said.
In other trading, the Nasdaq composite rose 3.66 points to 3,396.63, up 0.1 percent. That's still a far cry from its dot-com era high of 5,048 from March 10, 2000.
Japanese stocks surged, pushing the Nikkei above 14,000 for the first time in nearly five years. The Nikkei has jumped 36 percent this year after the Bank of Japan announced a new aggressive monetary policy to get the country out of its two-decade stagnation.
In Europe, Germany's main DAX index touched a record of 8,195, bouyed by surprisingly strong industrial orders, before falling back slightly.
In the market for U.S government bonds, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged up to 1.78 percent from 1.76 percent in late Monday trading. Optimism over the U.S. economy has yanked the yield up over the past week, as traders shift money out of the safety of the Treasury market. The yield sank to its low for the year, 1.63 percent, last Thursday.
Associated Press Writer Bernard Condon in New York contributed to this report.