Soft earnings at Johnson & Johnson weighed on stocks Tuesday with the S&P ending 0.3 percent lower at 1,073. But strong results after the close from chip makers Intel and Altera, which both raised sales estimates, point to strength for overnight trading. Strong sales and guidance for yet stronger sales are what the bulls are looking for this quarter.
Talk that U.S. interest rates will remain low continues to hurt the dollar with the dollar index down 0.4 percent at 75.82. Oil got a boost from the dollar's trouble, ending $1-1/2 higher at $74.50. Gold, steady at $1,065, is also benefiting from the dollar's weakness.