NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks gained early Tuesday, led by financial companies, in quiet trading ahead of the July 4th holiday in the U.S. Ford got a boost after reporting its best June for auto sales since 2006.

U.S. stocks have recovered from a slump last month after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was considering cutting back on its stimulus later this year, if the economy continues to improve. The central bank is buying $85 billion a month in bonds to keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing.

The Dow Jones rose 52 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,030 as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,619. The Nasdaq composite added 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,445.

As well as watching for clues of when the Fed will start to ease its stimulus and ultimately start to raise rates investors will this month turn their focus back to corporate earnings.

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