After Monday’s one-day drop, investors poured back into stocks on strong corporate news as the market staged a broad rally Tuesday that carried the Dow Jones and S&P 500 back toward last week’s dizzying heights.
The Nasdaq ended the day as the biggest winner, improving 1.29% to end at 3,171.58. The S&P 500 rose 1.04% to 1,511.29, and the Dow — which saw a rise in all but two components — gained 0.71% to 13,979.30 after briefly rising above 14,000 in the afternoon.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) led the way on the Dow with 3% gains, while sectormate JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, +2.3%), and financial services giant American Express (NYSE:AXP, +2.1%) followed closely behind.
After several weeks of speculation, we finally got the announcement of a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of computer maker Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) helped spark momentum after several weeks of speculation on whether or not a deal could be arranged. The deal includes money from both founder and CEO Michael Dell and Dell corporate partner Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). DELL shares finished up more than 1%; MSFT was up fractionally. The deal also spurred shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) to 2% gains after the company announced plans to go after Dell customers during the transition.
Shares of U.K. cable operator Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED) rose nearly 18% after the company confirmed it has been approached by media billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) about a possible $24 billion buyout. LBTYA shares declined 2% on the news.
Shares of McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) plunged more than 10% after the U.S. Justice Department accused Standard & Poor’s of fraud over its ratings of subprime securities that turned out to be of lesser quality than advertised or marketed. Rating agency Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) dropped as well, falling just more than 8% on the day.
Earnings notables for Wednesday include Real America Index component Cummins (NYSE:CMI), retailer Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), and automotive parts supplier O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY).
- Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS): Up 7.3% (96 cents) to $14.21.
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Up 6.9% ($1.04) to $16.02.
- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA): Up 5.6% (89 cents) to $16.89.
- Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU): Down 10.1% ($10.83) to $96.37.
- Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM): Down 2.9% ($1.86) to $62.08. (Read m0re here)
- Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ): Down 2% (64 cents) to $30.91.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT.