Stocks lower on mixed profits, Ukraine unease

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended Friday slightly lower as earnings came in mixed, overcoming enthusiasm about a pickup in hiring last month. Escalating tensions in Ukraine also weighed on the market.

LinkedIn slumped 8 percent after reporting its largest quarterly loss since going public. Estee Lauder rose 5 percent after its earnings beat estimates.

The S&P 500 index lost 2.54 to 1,881.14. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 45.98 to 16,512.89. The Nasdaq composite fell 3.55 to 4,123.90.

CVS Caremark's profit jumps 18 percent in 1Q

NEW YORK - CVS Caremark's first-quarter earnings jumped 18 percent to $1.13 billion as generic drugs and an acquisition helped the drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager weather rough winter storms.

The company runs the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, with nearly 7,700 stores. CVS said weather, plus a weaker flu season compared to last year, hurt sales.

CVS also runs one of the biggest pharmacy benefits management operations, a segment that played a large role in its growth during the quarter. Sales from that unit, which runs prescription drug plans for employers, climbed more than 10 percent to top $20 billion.

For newest Ford CEO, aluminum truck is key

DETROIT - For all the miracles Alan Mulally pulled off at Ford Motor, one eluded him. He couldn't make the stock price leap. Soon, that stock will fall to Mark Fields. On Thursday, Ford announced Mulally would retire July 1 and Fields would replace him as CEO.

Analysts don't see much upside for the stock until Ford starts selling an aluminum-body F-150 pickup late this year. The lighter truck could get close to 30 mpg on the highway.

But Ford faces the gargantuan tasks of retooling factories and of convincing buyers that an alloy version of the nation's top-selling vehicle is as tough as the old one.

Honda recalling some 2014 Odyssey minivans

TORRANCE, Calif. - Honda is recalling 24,889 Odyssey minivans from the 2014 model year because their side airbags may not deploy during a crash.

Honda says a shorting terminal, which prevents deployment of the airbag before it's put into the vehicle, may have been damaged during assembly. That may illuminate the warning light and prevent the side bags from deploying.

Dealers will repair the minivans for free. Honda will notify owners starting May 16.

News Corp. is buying Harlequin for $415M

NEW YORK - News Corp. sees profit potential in the tales of princes, sexy soldiers and mysterious millionaires.

The company controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Friday it has agreed to buy romance novel publisher Harlequin Enterprises from Torstar Corp. for $415 million.

Founded in 1949, Harlequin publishes in 34 languages. It releases more than 110 titles each month.

Delta says key revenue figure is up from 2013

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines said Friday that traffic increased and a key revenue figure rose 6 percent in April partly because of the shift of the Easter holiday, which occurred in March last year. Passengers flew 16.57 billion miles on Delta last month, up 6.6 percent from April 2013. Delta is Charleston's largest carrier based on passenger volume.

Chevron profit plunges on production, prices

NEW YORK - Chevron says its first-quarter net income fell 27 percent to $4.52 billion because of lower global oil prices and decreased production of oil as a result of bad weather. Revenue fell 6 percent to $50.98 billion from a year ago.

Kraft's profit up as cost cuts offset sliding sales

NEW YORK - Kraft reported a higher profit for its first quarter as cost-cutting and one-time benefits helped offset a decline in revenue.

The maker of Lunchables, Oscar Mayer and Velveeta partly attributed the revenue dip to the timing of Easter-related shipments, which were pushed into the second quarter.

CEO Tony Vernon also said Kraft continued to be hurt by cuts to SNAP food stamps. He also noted that higher tax bills seem to be hitting middle- to upper-income consumers. Still, Kraft plans to boost prices on some products to cover costs.

Wire reports