U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, after U.S. consumer price inflation data came out slightly above market expectations and the release of fresh first-quarter earnings reports.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 rose 0.30%, the S&P 500 gained 0.39%, while the Nasdaq advanced 0.48%.
Official data showed that U.S. consumer price inflation rose 0.2% in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain, after a 0.1% uptick the previous month.
Core consumer price inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2% last month, more than the expected 0.1% increase, after a 0.1% gain in February.
A separate report showed that the Empire State manufacturing index fell to 1.3 this month, from a reading of 5.6 in March, compared to expectations for a rise to 8.2.
Before the opening bell, Coca-Cola (NYSE:CCE) reported earnings per share of 44 cents on $10.58 billion in revenue, compared to expectations of earnings of 44 cents a share on $10.55 billion in sales, sending shares up 2.69%.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) shares rallied 1.14% after the company posted first-quarter earnings of $1.54 a share on $18.1 billion in revenue, above analysts' expectations.
Among tech stocks, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) gained 0.84% after the company said on Monday that it acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides access to data services around the world.
Elsewhere, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) added 0.15% after the entertainment company's $950 million agreement to buy Maker Studios was reaffirmed by the online video company on Monday. The announcement put an end to a last-minute offer from Relativity Media LLC.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), scheduled to report quarterly results after the closing bell.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 inched up 0.05%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.21%, Germany's DAX declined 0.44%, while Britain's FTSE 100 dipped 0.03%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.60%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.62%.
Investors still remained cautious as the U.S. and the European Union said that they are considering further sanctions against Moscow after pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Market participants were eyeing a meeting scheduled on Thursday in Geneva between the U.S., the EU, Ukraine and Russia, with hopes it will bring a political resolution to escalating tensions in Eastern Europe.