Gains for AT&T and Boeing help lift US stock indexes higher

U.S. stocks continue to reach record highs as they make slight gains in afternoon trading Wednesday. Boeing and AT&T rose sharply after posting strong second-quarter results. Energy companies rose along with the price of oil. Treasury yields took a modest step backward as the Federal Reserve prepares to wrap up a two-day meeting on interest rates, which most investors expect to be uneventful.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was unchanged at 2,477 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. It closed at a record Tuesday, as did several other major stock indexes.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,691, and the Nasdaq composite...