NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher in early trading on Wall Street, led by gains for financial companies, putting markets back at record levels.
Banks and insurers rose 0.9 percent, the most of the 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
Bank of America climbed to a two-year high, up 32 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $13.30. Investment bank Goldman Sachs gained $3.20, or 2.1 percent, to $152.81.
Stocks had a lackluster start to the week Monday as investors start to question whether stocks have risen too far, too fast this year. Even news that retail sales unexpectedly rose in April failed to give the market a boost. The Dow ended the day slightly down and the S&P 500 was flat.
The Dow has risen 15.5 percent this year and the S&P 500 index is 15 percent higher. Record company earnings, optimism that the economy is improving and economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve are bolstering demand for stocks.
Oil edged lower, falling 11 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $95.05 a barrel. Gold rose $2, or 0.1 percent, to $1,436. The dollar edged higher against the euro and the yen.
Among stocks making big moves;
_ Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the online video game publisher whose titles include "Grand Theft Auto," rose 86 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $17.24 after the company reported a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter. Take-Two's as revenue more than doubled on sales of "BioShock Infinite" and other video games.
_ Tesla Motors jumped $2.90, or 3 percent, to $90.79. The electric car maker has surged 67 percent since May 8 when it reported its first profitable quarter. The company is also getting a boost after its Model S sedan tied an older Lexus model for the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports magazine's automotive testing.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.90 percent from 1.92 percent late Monday. The yield on the note, which moves inversely to its price, is trading at close to its highest in six weeks.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,452.