U.S. stocks did an about-face Tuesday, bouncing back strongly after being trounced a day earlier. Solid corporate results, a rally in gold prices and an upbeat economic report on housing starts took center stage.
The Nasdaq powered ahead 1.5% to 3264.63, the S&P 500 rose 1.43% to close at 1574.57 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.08% at 14756.78.
New housing starts topped 1 million units in March — news that helped move the entire sector, reflected in a 2.3% gain for the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSE:ITB). Individual movers included PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM, +4.2%), Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL, +3%) and Lennar (NYSE:LEN, 2.4%).
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) both reported top and bottom lines that beat Wall Street expectations, resulting in a Dow-leading 5% improvement for KO and a 2% gain for JNJ.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also announced better-than-expected earnings results, with revenue growth of 9% leading to profits up 7% year-over-year, but the stock suffered a drop of just less than 2%.
Finally, parts supplier W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) soared to an all-time high, rising over 7% after announcing strong top- and bottom-line growth and providing upbeat guidance for the remainder of 2013.
Earnings notables for Wednesday include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), American Express (NYSE:AXP) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY).
- Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK): Up 9.4% (60 cents) to $7.02.
- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL): Up 6.4% (96 cents) to $15.87.
- Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM): Up 6.4% ($1.33) to $25.54.
- NetGear (NASDAQ:NTGR): Down 7.8% ($2.42) to $28.46.
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX): Down 4.7% (92 cents) to $18.86.
- Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP): Down 2.4% (14 cents) to $5.59.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.