Stocks rise again on bullish sentiments

NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average extended its push past 11,000 Tuesday after expectations grew that stronger corporate earnings would signal that a recovery is on track.

Stocks fell in early trading after quarterly results from aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. missed expectations. Major indexes later poked higher as traders jockeyed for position ahead of earnings from leading chipmaker Intel Corp., which reported strong results after the closing bell, meaning the stock market's mood could brighten today on that news. Intel's earnings and revenue came in ahead of expectations and brought more evidence that businesses are again spending more on technology.

CSX's profit jumps; growth is 'steady'

NEW YORK -- CSX says "gradual and steady growth" in the economy drove its first-quarter profit up 20 percent from the level it was at in the depths of the depression a year ago.

The railroad operator's results also point to an economic recovery under way without the help of consumers, who are still skittish about their paychecks and how much their houses are worth.

The third-largest railroad in the United States said Tuesday it earned $306 million compared with $254 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 11 percent to $2.49 billion. CSX serves the Charleston area.

Twitter dips toes in advertising waters

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter announced Tuesday that it is introducing advertising by allowing companies to pay to have their messages show up first in searches on its site.

The debut of "Promoted Tweets" comes as Twitter increasingly faces questions about how it can turn its wide usage into profits.

The ads apparently won't bring in much money during the experimental phase of Twitter's commercial push. Virgin America, one of the advertisers that Twitter invited to test the concept, isn't paying for its first burst of promotional messages but it expects the service to charge for the service at some point.

Twitter identified Best Buy Co., Sony Pictures and Starbucks Corp. among the other companies using Promoted Tweets.

Forgiving housing debt is questioned

WASHINGTON -- Top banking industry executives are skeptical about helping troubled borrowers by forgiving a portion of their debt.

The executives told lawmakers Tuesday they are reducing the amount that troubled borrowers owe on their home loans only in limited cases. That's because consumers who are paying their mortgages on time are likely to see such reductions as unfair, the executives said.

Such programs "could raise issues of fairness," said Sanjiv Das, Citigroup's top mortgage executive officer. David Lowman, chief executive of Chase's mortgage business, said large-scale mortgage principal reduction "could be harmful to consumers, investors and future mortgage market conditions."

When the hearing was over, activists from the Boston-based Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America chased Lowman through the Rayburn House Office Building. He did not respond to their requests for a meeting and left the building with the assistance of police.