US stocks end higher after wild swings from tech stocks

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks finished higher Tuesday after a wild swing lower led by tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq Composite index down nearly two per cent at one point.

Stocks opened strongly on good results from Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola but then sank, with analysts at the time citing a rise in worries over Ukraine.

But the subsequent bounce-back left the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the green at the end, up 89.32 points (0.55 per cent) to 16,262.56.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 12.37 (0.68 per cent) to 1,842.98, while the Nasdaq Composite put on 11.47 (0.29 per cent) at 4,034.16.

"The market is all over the place, everyday it is the same thing," said Steven Rosen, of Societe Generale.

"The market doesn't seem to be trading on fundamentals right now, but on intraday momentum."

Coca-Cola finished up 3.7 per cent after meeting earnings projections of 44 cents per share in its first quarter report. The soft-drink king achieved two per cent global volume growth.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was up 2.1 per cent on earnings of $1.54 a share in the first quarter, six cents above forecasts. The company raised its full-year profit outlook by five cents to $5.80-$5.90.

Twitter brooked the midday fall, gaining 11.4 per cent after announcing the purchase of Gnip, a company which has been involved in mining Twitter data for resale.

Twitter said the purchase would help it improve its data collection and analysis to help developers and businesses.

Much of the action was in the tech-sector swing. Facebook, for example, ended up 0.3 per cent after plunging more than 5.0 per cent at mid-session; likewise, Yahoo lost 2.4 per cent before rebounding for a 2.3 per cent gain.

"There's no fundamental reason for that," said Rosen.

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury slipped to 2.63 per cent from 2.64 per cent Monday, while the 30-year fell to 3.46 per cent from 3.48 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.