Stocks move broadly higher on Wall Street

Associated Press
Trader Michael Mozian works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as the market shrugs off a two-day decline. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher on Wall Street Tuesday as investors shrugged off a two-day slump and assessed company earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,861 as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,329. The Nasdaq composite climbed five points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,231.

SONIC BOOM: Drive-in restaurant company Sonic jumped $2.17, or 10.4 percent, to $23.07 after posting earnings that exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The company reported higher net income in its fiscal second quarter despite the unusually harsh winter weather.

SPICY EARNINGS: McCormick, a purveyor of spices, seasonings and condiments, rose $3.82, or $5.7 percent, to $71.34 after the company reported earnings that beat analysts' estimates. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for the year.

CLOSING UP SHOP: Walgreen rose $2.47, or 3.8 percent, to $66.78 after the company reported its fiscal second quarter earnings. The company said it plans to close 76 stores in the second half of its fiscal year. That's a big shift from its previous growth strategy, which focused on opening locations to maximize convenience for its customers

HOUSING WATCH: Fewer people bought new U.S. homes in February. Sales fell to their slowest pace in five months, a sign that the housing market has yet to recover fully from brutal winter weather, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

CRUSING FOR A BRUISING: Carnival fell $1.94, or 4.9 percent, to $38.04, after the cruise operator swung to a loss in the first quarter, stung by losing bets on the future price of fuel. The cruise operator's adjusted results and revenue beat analysts' expectations, but it narrowed its full-year forecast and gave a second-quarter projection below Wall Street's view.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 2.74 percent from 2.73 percent late Monday. The price of crude oil rose 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $99.34 a barrel. Gold rose $1.70, or 0.1 percent, to $1,312.90 an ounce.

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