Stocks Start Higher, JCPenney’s CEO Bombshell

U.S. stocks were edging higher in the early trading on Tuesday after a strong start to the earnings season from Alcoa . The  Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 15.01 points, or 0.10%, to 14,628.49. The S&P 500 index  added 0.91 point, or 0.06%, to 1,563.98. The Nasdaq Composite gained 3.29 points, or 0.10%, to  3,225.54.

In a stunning end to one of the most aggressively unsuccessful tenures in retail history, JCPenney last night announced that CEO Ron Johnson would be leaving effectively immediately. Myron Ullman, Johnson’s predecessor at JCPenney, takes office as CEO.

China’s consumer inflation eased in March, data out Tuesday showed, with the less-than-expected  rise in prices helping stocks but worrying some analysts. The consumer price index (CPI) for  March rose 2.1% from a year earlier, a milder gain than the 2.4% projected in a Dow Jones  Newswires survey, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne forecasts sales of between 4.3 million and 4.5 million  cars in 2013, slightly higher than last year. Marchionne told shareholders Tuesday the company  expects growth in the U.S., Latin America and Asia, while sales in Europe are forecast to  decline for a sixth straight year.

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