Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM ET
Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors sought bargains following the market's worst daily session since November and more companies reported results that were stronger than expected.
Major stock indexes had dropped about 1 percent in Monday's session, pressured by renewed worries over the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis. Still, equities have been strong performers recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 index up 4.9 percent for 2013.
Dell agreed to go private in a $24.4 billion deal that was widely expected. Shares of the computer maker rose 0.7 percent to $13.36 after a brief trading halt.
Wall Street has advanced on strong fourth-quarter earnings and signs of improved economic growth, suggesting the market's longer-term trend remains higher.
"Stocks are really the only place investors can go for any kind of real return, and that's enough to have people continuing to come into the market, not just buying on dips but in general," said Thomas Nyheim, portfolio manager at Christiana Trust in Greenville, Delaware.
Archer Daniels Midland reported revenue and adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations, boosted by strong global demand for oilseeds. Shares rose 4 percent to $29.58.
Estee Lauder Cos Inc gained 4.5 percent to $63.78 after reporting results.
According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 53 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings thus far, 69 percent have beaten profit expectations, over the 62 percent average since 1994 and the 65 percent average over the past four quarters.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 4.5 percent, according to the data, above the 1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season, but well below the 9.9 percent forecast on October 1.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.88 points, or 0.60 percent, at 13,963.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.16 points, or 0.61 percent, at 1,504.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.80 points, or 0.35 percent, at 3,141.97.
At current levels, the S&P is less than 5 percent away from its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, reached in October 2011.
McGraw-Hill extended its Monday decline, slumping 7.1 percent to $46.68 as the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil lawsuit against the company and its unit, Standard & Poor's, over mortgage bond ratings. The action marks the first such federal action against a credit rating agency related to the recent financial crisis.
The stock has dropped more than 20 percent over the past two days.
U.S. shares of BP Plc rose 1.8 percent to $44.38 after the company reported earnings that beat expectations and said underlying financial momentum would be "strongly evident" by 2014.
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index was 55.2 in January, as expected and down slightly from the previous month.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.