Stocks rise on earnings; Cummins, Merck climb

NEW YORK - The stock market closed higher as more U.S. companies delivered solid quarterly results.

Merck, Ameriprise Financial and engine maker Cummins were among the companies reporting better-than-expected earnings. Coach slumped 9 percent after the luxury goods maker said its profit fell.

The S&P 500 index rose 8.90 to close at 1,878.33 Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 86.63 to 16,535.37. The Nasdaq increased 29.14 to 4,103.54.

Caterpillar is closing its Upstate engine units

FOUNTAIN INN - Caterpillar is moving its engine production plant operations from Fountain Inn to Georgia and Texas, affecting 380 full-time and 130 temporary jobs.

The company said Tuesday its marine engine operation is shifting to Griffin, Ga., and the C7 engine assembly line is moving to Seguin, Texas. The South Carolina plant is closing by the end of the year. The firm says the move is being made to improve efficiency.

Caterpillar announced last year that it would close its Summerville plant in mid-2014, citing a decline in orders for the 280-worker factory.

Vegas breaks record at 3.7M visitors in March

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas saw more visitors in March than in any other month in its history, thanks to college basketball tournaments, car races and conventions.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Tuesday that 3.7 million people visited the city last month, up 4.3 percent from March 2013.

Room rates shot up for the month of March. Las Vegas also attracted gamblers placing bets on March Madness games.

Officials said a $66 million expansion of the Mandalay Bay convention center is expected to help it attract larger events and more meetings. MGM is breaking ground Thursday on a $350 million arena on the Strip.

Twitter posts a 1Q loss, but revenue is higher

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter booked a net loss in the first quarter because of stock compensation costs, but its results surpassed Wall Street's expectations thanks to a sharp increase in advertising revenue.

Twitter said Tuesday it had a loss of $132.4 million in the January-March quarter. That compares with a loss of $27 million a year ago when Twitter was still privately held. Revenue more than doubled to $250 million.

Consumer confidence dips in April in the U.S.

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer confidence fell in April over concerns about hiring and business conditions, even though many people foresee a strengthening economy in the months ahead.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index dropped to 82.3 from a March reading of 83.9. Despite the decline, consumer sentiment for the past two months has been at its strongest levels since January 2008.

Sprint offers 6 months free Spotify to 'Framily'

NEW YORK - Sprint is bringing Spotify into the Framily. The cellphone carrier said Tuesday it would offer a free six-month subscription to Spotify Premium to all new and existing customers on the Framily group discount plan. The plan costs upward of $25 a month for up to 10 friends and family members for unlimited talk, text and 1 gigabyte of cellular data.

Spotify Premium, which gives users unlimited online and mobile access to 20 million tracks, normally costs $10 a month.

Goodyear has 1Q loss of $58M, stays upbeat

AKRON, Ohio - Goodyear reported a $58 million loss for the first quarter largely due to Venezuelan currency charges.

The loss was compounded by the extreme winter weather across the U.S. that hurt tire sales, the company said.

The company remains confident in its full-year outlook despite labor and economic trouble in Venezuela.

Samsung is reporting higher 'smart' earnings

SEOUL, South Korea - Samsung Electronics Co. says its first quarter earnings improved moderately from the previous year.

Samsung said Tuesday its January-March net income rose 6 percent to $7.4 billion while its revenues gained 2 percent.

More than three-quarters of its quarterly operating profit came from its handset business, with its Galaxy smartphones continuing to see solid sales.

Wire reports