Investors took a solid report from earnings-season opener Alcoa (NYSE:AA) as a sign of good things to come, and corporate news helped push stocks higher Tuesday and get the Dow Jones into new record territory once again.
The Dow — powered by gains in tech components Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT, +3.6%) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC, +3.1%) — rose 0.41% to close at a record 14673.46. The Nasdaq was also aided by the tech company gains, rising 0.48% to end at 3237.86, while the S&P 500 rose 0.35% to end at 1568.61.
The biggest move of the day came from the solar sector, where panel maker First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) roared ahead after announcing strong forward guidance numbers for the next two years, enough to cause a halt in FSLR trading on the Nasdaq. First Solar settled in with 45% gains.
The rest of the solar sector — including Yingli Green (NYSE:YGE, +21%), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR, +17%), and Jinksolar (NYSE:JKS, +16%) — spiked in unison, pushing the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN) to a whopping 14% gain.
Struggling retailer JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) plunged 13% following the company’s decision to end the Ron Johnson era. The hand-picked CEO was ousted by the board after dismal financial results and a tanking stock price. Investors apparently weren’t thrilled with Johnson’s replacement, former CEO Mike Ullman, either.
Finally, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) saw its shares fall over 3% after HLF’s auditors, KPMG, resigned the account because of alleged insider trading by a KPMG auditor. KPMG also relinquished its role at Skechers (NYSE:SKX).
- Cliff Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF): Up 8.8% ($1.66) to $20.45.
- Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT): Up 6% ($1.20) to $21.20.
- Vale (NYSE:VALE): Up 4.9% (85 cents) to $18.25.
- MGIC Investment (NYSE:MTG): Down 5.5% (30 cents) to $5.15.
- Starwood Property (NYSE:STWD): Down 3.8% ($1.07) to $27.15.
- Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA): Down 3.2% ($1.33) to $40.50.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT.