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Stock rise, but weakness could remain

Stocks were higher Tuesday after sharp losses in the previous session but continued concerns about Europe's debt crisis could mean gains are short lived.

The Dutch state successfully completed a bond auction a day after the government collapsed in a crisis over budget cuts, but investors demanded a slightly higher risk premium as euro zone yields have edged higher.

"People are defensive, obviously they are worried about what's going on in Europe," said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. "We are seeing a lack of buyers coming in to scoop up these oversold levels, which means the caution flag is really up."

Results from Apple Inc after the close may be a stabilizing factor for the Nasdaq during the session. The results will be dissected after a share swoon raised concerns a gravity-defying rally was over. Apple is down 10 percent from its closing peak this year.

AT&T Inc's profit rose, driven by a rise in wireless margins as it had shelled out less in subsidies to Apple because it sold fewer iPhones.

"There is this persistent worry over the euro zone now," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. "It appears that the markets are trying to force once again the EU to take a more aggressive approach in terms of growth."

So far, earnings have been solid, with more than 80 percent of S&P 500 companies topping consensus profit estimates as of Monday.
3M Co's profit rose 4 percent, helped by a strong performance in its transportation business and growth in the Americas.

Diversified U.S. manufacturer United Technologies Corp's earnings topped expectations, helped by better-than-expected demand for residential heating and cooling systems in North America.

One-time market darling Netflix Inc projected slower subscriber growth this quarter for its key U.S. video-streaming service.

Facebook Inc reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in at least two years, a sign the social network's sizzling growth may be cooling as it prepares to go public.

Reuters contributed to this report.