US stocks ended mixed and mostly lower, led by a steep decline in drug company shares. Major international markets also fell Tuesday, dragged down by a weak economic forecast from the Bank of Japan. Comments from beleaguered Valeant Pharmaceuticals raised investor concerns that it will become more difficult for drug companies to hike prices, and shares across the sector plunged. Materials companies also fell, led by a 7% decline for miner Freeport McMoRan. An encouraging iPhone sales forecast sent Apple shares higher, which helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to a small gain.
The Dow rose 22 points, or 0.1%, to 17,251. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3 points, or 0.2%, to 2,015. The Nasdaq composite fell 21 points, or 0.5%, to 4,728. (Read more Dow Jones stories.)