Stocks end day higher, extending modest rally

Stocks managed to close with modest gains on Wall Street after a day of up-and-down trading.

Toll Brothers and other homebuilders fell after a measure of the industry's confidence in the housing market remained low. Apple and Netflix also fell.

Major U.S. indexes moved between gains and losses all day before ending slightly higher.

The S&P 500 index rose 12 to close at 1,842 Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89 to 16,262. The Nasdaq added 11 to 4,034.

Consumer prices in U.S. climb slightly in March

Lower U.S. gasoline prices kept consumer inflation in check last month, helping to offset higher costs for food and clothing.

The Labor Department said Tuesday the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in March, after0.1 percent increases in the previous two months. Prices have risen just 1.5 percent year over year. That remains well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for inflation.

Prices at the gas pump tumbled 1.7 percent in March, lowering costs for the overall energy category. But food prices jumped 0.4 percent, led by increases in eggs, milk, butter, oranges, pork chops, ground beef and poultry.

J&J net up 8 percent on sales jump, lower costs

A turnaround in Johnson & Johnson's prescription medicine business fueled by new drugs, combined with reduced production and administration expenses, lifted first-quarter profit by 8 percent.

The world's biggest maker of health care products beat expectations and raised its earnings outlook Tuesday. It said net income was $4.73 billion, up from $3.5 billion a year earlier. The company said revenue totaled $18.12 billion, up 3.5 percent.

The prescription business saw revenue jump 11 percent to $7.5 billion. J&J credited strong sales of new drugs: prostate cancer pill Zytiga, hepatitis C medicine Olysio and Xarelto for preventing strokes. Each is on pace to become blockbusters.

Intel posts a lower 1Q profit, higher revenue

Intel Corp. said Tuesday its first-quarter earnings declined, but revenue grew as it saw improvements in its PC business and solid demand for tablet processors.

Intel earned $1.95 billion in the January-March quarter, down from $2.05 billion a year earlier. Revenue grew 1 percent to $12.8 billion.

Intel has been challenged by a shift in consumer spending away from PCs. Although Intel is the leader in making chips for PCs, it hasn't done as well selling processors for smartphones and tablets.

Coca-Cola selling more drinks, but soda slips

Coca-Cola, the world's biggest beverage maker, said Tuesday that the amount of soda it sold globally fell for first time in 15 years.

The drop in the first quarter was offset by stronger sales of its noncarbonated drinks that include Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani water. Overall volume rose 2 percent, an improvement from the 1 percent increase the previous quarter.

But the 1 percent decline in global soda volume is notable for Coca-Cola: The last time the figure fell was in 1999, according to the company.

Gary Fayard, chief financial officer, attributed the drop partly to the timing of Easter, which falls in the second quarter this year instead of the first. He also cited a double-digit soda decline in Great Britain. For the full year, Fayard said, he expects global soda volume to be positive.

In developed nations, soda has been under fire over concerns that it fuels weight gain. Also, declines in diet sodas have been blamed on concerns about artificial sweeteners.

CSX 1Q profit falls 14% as weather slows rails

Harsh weather slowed CSX railroad and contributed to a 14 percent drop in first-quarter profit, even as freight volume grew modestly. On Tuesday, the railroad reported net income of $398 million in the quarter.

Wire reports