Stocks mixed amid healthier earnings

NEW YORK -- The stock market posted only modest gains Wednesday after the glow of strong results at Apple Inc. and a few other companies faded.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose slightly while broader indexes were mixed.

Technology and industrial shares drew buyers after Apple and Boeing delivered results that beat expectations. Analysts caution that investors are starting to become accustomed to better earnings and even good news on profits might not push the market higher.

GM: Repayments a sign it's recovering

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. has repaid $8.1 billion in loans it got from the U.S. and Canadian governments, a move it says is a sign the automaker is on the road to recovery.

CEO Ed Whitacre announced the repayments Wednesday at a GM plant in Kansas, where GM is investing $257 million in that factory and a Detroit plant.

The White House pointed to GM's repayment and Chrysler's first-quarter operating profit as signs the bailout of the U.S. automakers was working.

Starbucks perking up on robust sales

CHICAGO -- Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday its second-quarter profit soared more than eight-fold to $217.3 million as its revenue climbed 9 percent to $2.53 billion. The coffee giant said its better-than-expected results were boosted by strong U.S. sales and robust international business. It was the fourth quarter in a row when Starbucks' profit rose, after faltering for more than a year.

KB's ex-CEO guilty in backdating case

LOS ANGELES -- The former head of KB Home was convicted Wednesday of four felony counts in a stock option backdating scam.

A jury found Bruce Karatz guilty of two counts of mail fraud, one count of lying to company accountants and one count of making false statements in reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was acquitted on 16 other counts. The former CEO, 64, is free on bond and faces up to 60 years in prison.

Wells Fargo expects better credit news

CHARLOTTE -- Wachovia owner Wells Fargo said its first-quarter earnings fell 1 percent to $2.37 billion as the bank dealt with continuing losses on consumer loans.

However, the bank said Wednesday it believes it has "turned the corner" with its credit problems. The results have surpassed expectations and provided further evidence that the banking industry and the economy are recovering.

Auction sought for Daufuskie's assets

Almost all of the assets of bankrupt Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa could be sold at auction under a request made Wednesday in Charleston. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge John Waites will rule later.

A previously announced deal to sell the assets on the remote getaway near Hilton Head Island for $49.5 million is unlikely to occur, attorneys said.

The auction idea was opposed by a private club on Daufuskie that claims purchase rights to some of the assets, including the Melrose Inn.