Stocks Slightly Higher on Earnings

Stocks Slightly Higher on Earnings

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were slightly higher in early trading on Tuesday as investors monitor corporate earnings from the likes of Gilead, McDonald's, Texas Instruments and others. Slumping oil prices held the gains in check.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,512 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,173 and the Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,116.

DEEP IN THE HEART: Technology company Texas Instruments rose $4.36, or 7 percent, to $70.55 after the company's quarterly results were better than anticipated. The company also issued a strong forecast for the third quarter.

SILICON VALLEY TO THE STAGE: This week is a big one for tech earnings. Apple and Twitter reported after the closing bell on Tuesday and Google, Amazon and Facebook release their results later this week. Apple shares were slightly higher in early trading, up 35 cents to $97.71. Analysts are expecting the technology juggernaut to report a profit of $1.40 a share for its fiscal third quarter.

SLOW FOOD: McDonald's shares fell $4.35, or 3.4 percent, to $123.03, making it the biggest decliner in the Dow, after the company's second-quarter earnings showed disappointing sales growth in the U.S.

UNHEALTHY: Drugmaker Gilead Sciences fell $6.06, or 7 percent, to $82.41 after the company cut its full-year sales. The company said it was facing pricing pressure and slower-than-expected demand for its blockbuster drug Harvoni, which cures Hepatitis C, and its other Hep-C drugs like Solvaldi.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell another 20 cents to $42.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, adding to the 94 cents it lost Monday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 5 cents to $44.77 after falling 97 cents during the previous session. The steady drop in oil in recent days has weighed on oil and commodity stocks.

CENTRAL BANK WATCH: The Federal Reserve will start its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Economists do not expect the nation's central bank to raise interest rates from their current rate of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, but will be looking for any signals that policymakers are looking to raise rates later this year.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 104.55 yen from Monday's 105.70. The euro edged down to $1.1003 from $1.0994. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was slightly lower to 1.56 percent.