Stocks move broadly higher on Wall Street

STEVE ROTHWELL AP Markets Writer Published:

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.