After yesterday’s lackluster session, stocks came roaring out of the gate like Secretariat today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average bolting above 13,000 by 10 a.m. and continuing the momentum to finish up 1.5% to 13,155.54.
Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 followed suit, posting gains of around 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively.
The Dow was bolstered by a positive report from the Department of Commerce, which said new home permits rose to 747,000 units in March, a gain of 4.5% over February numbers; however, housing starts declined 5.8%.
Worries over monetary problems in Spain eased somewhat, as Tuesday’s auction of 12- and 18-month bills found strong demand, and long-term yields dropped below 6% in advance of what will be a closely watched 10-year auction on Thursday.
The markets were fueled by a massive rebound in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as the tech darling rose 5% to $609, with investors taking advantage of a buying opportunity after a five-day sell-off that knocked nearly 9% from the stock price.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), up more than 2% on a better-than-expected earnings report, also helped drive the rally. Investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) enjoyed a quick jolt after announcing Street-beating earnings and a dividend hike, but it reversed course and finished down less than 1%.
Other banking stocks found themselves on solid ground all session, with gains from UBS (NYSE:UBS, +3.3%), Citigroup (NYSE:C, +3.2%) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM, +1.3%). State Street (NYSE:STT) also was up about 2% despite an earnings miss.
After the bell, several tech heavyweights recorded earnings beats — yet only Yahoo‘s (NASDAQ:YHOO) results seemed to resonate with investors, while IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) were retreating.
Yahoo’s earnings of 23 cents per share beat analyst expectations, and revenues of $1.07 billion were right on target. The news sent YHOO shares up about 2% in after-market trading.
Meanwhile, IBM reported a 7% increase in profits to $3.1 billion, and adjusted first-quarter earnings of $2.78 also beat analyst expectations by about 12 cents. But only slightly increased revenues of $24.7 billion fell about $100 million short of Street estimates, and IBM was sent down about 2% after the bell. IBM represents about 12% of the Dow because of price weighting, which could hit the index Wednesday should pessimism persist.
Intel’s earnings were down 13% from the year-ago period to $2.74 billion, though adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share were even with last year and topped analyst expectations for 50 cents. The company also forecast revenues between $13.1 billion and $14.1 billion, better than expectations for $13.43 billion. Still, INTC shares were down almost 3% in after-market trading.
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Up 10.28% ($2.14) to $22.96.
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG): Up 5.32% ($1.77) to $35.07.
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): Up 5.80% ($5.87) to $107.02.
- Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Down 5.76% (63 cents) to $10.31.
- Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR): Down 4.27% ($3.03) to $68.
- Renren (NYSE:RENN): Down 3.78% (27 cents) to $6.87.
Marc Bastow is an assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and INTC.