Updated from 11:43 a.m. EDT

Positive earnings news out of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) was leading the headlines on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and among health care stocks Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson said first-quarter earnings fell to $2.6 billion, or 88 cents a share, from $3.3 billion, or $1.10 a share, a year ago. However, adjusted results topped the Thomson First Call analysts' consensus of $1.05 a share, and J&J was higher by $1.53, or 2.4%, at $64.55.

Other pharmaceutical stocks lost ground. Wyeth ( WYE) was off 0.8%, Merck ( MRK) was down 0.6%, and Pfizer ( PFE) dipped 0.2%.

J&J's gain helped boost the Amex Pharmaceutical Index, which was up slightly. The Amex Biotechnology Index also gained ground, despite losses of 0.7% or more in Cephalon ( CEPH), Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI), and MedImmune ( MEDI).

Elsewhere, Novacea ( NOVC) surged after the company said its AQ4N compound looked to be effective during animal studies. The treatment targets oxygen-starved regions of cancerous tumors that are hard to reach with other cancer therapies. The stock jumped $1.32, or 19.7%, to $8.02.

Shares of Telik ( TELK) also soared after the company reported positive Phase II clinical data for its lung cancer drug candidate Telcyta. After rising more than 20% earlier in the day, Telik closed up 54 cents, or 9.2%, at $6.43.

On the flip side, biotech company Antigenics ( AGEN) shed 10.6% a day after the company said its Oncophage cancer vaccine showed positive results in a clinical trial as a treatment for brain cancer. Antigenics, which surged 20.7% on Monday, lost 47 cents to $3.96.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical ( BMRN) also sank a day after the company offered $250 million in senior subordinated convertible bonds, with an underwriter's option for $37.5 million more to cover overallotments. BioMarin fell $1.21, or 6.8%, to $16.62.

If you liked this article you might like

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)