Updated from 4:11 p.m. EST
Stocks in the U.S. were sharply higher Tuesday as an earnings beat by the world's largest retailer and reassurance from the financial sector prompted bargain-hunters to go to work.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average skyrocketed 319.54 points, or 2.46%, to 13,307.09, its second-best point gain of the year. The S&P 500 jumped 41.87 points, or 2.91%, at 1481.05. The Nasdaq Composite, the weakest of the three of late, was the best performer this time, soaring 89.52 points, or 3.46%, to 2673.65.
Leading the Dow was Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report), which reported a third-quarter profit that rose 8% from a year ago to top Wall Street's estimates. The retailer also said quarterly revenue came in at $91.95 billion, exceeding forecasts.Additionally, Wal-Mart lifted its profit forecast for the full year. Shares jumped $2.65, or 6.1%, to $45.97. Home Depot (HD - Get Report) was also out with earnings, although its results were overshadowed by Wal-Mart's. The home-improvement retailer posted a third-quarter profit that dropped nearly 27% from a year ago because of the slowing housing market. Regardless, Home Depot gained 66 cents, or 2.3%, at $29.12. Much like the previous session, the retail sector was one of the best performers. The S&P Retail Index added 3.9%. Among other subsector index winners, the Amex Airline Index jumped 5.2%, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index rose 2.2%, and the KBW Bank Index gained 4.9%.