Stocks edge higher; Caterpillar, Boeing lead Dow

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging higher in midday trading, led by Boeing and Caterpillar.

Boeing Co. rose 2.5 percent after the aircraft giant said it received approval from its board to build a version of its workhorse 737 jet with a redesigned engine. That should help it better compete with rival Airbus.

Caterpillar Inc. rose 2.6 percent, the most in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Stocks fell earlier on a report that consumer confidence plunged in August to the lowest level since April 2009.

At midday, the Dow is up 33 points, or 0.3 percent, at 11,569.71. It had been down as many as 109 points earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 is up 3, or 0.3 percent, at 1,213. The Nasdaq is up 15, or 0.6 percent, at 2,577.