The broad indices all ended with gains, as investors settled down after four days of losses, and even poured some money into government securities. The market yield on 10-year U.S Treasury securities was down six basis points to 2.82% Tuesday afternoon.
Investors turned their attention away from fears of a tapering of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve to a slew of positive earnings surprises.
Shares of Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) popped 13% to close at $34.80, after the electronics retailer reported fiscal second-quarter earnings from continuing operations of 32 cents a share, on revenue of $9.3 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to report EPS of just 12 cents and revenue of $9.13 billion.A major highlight for Best Buy was a 10.5% year-over-year increase in online sales, to $477 million. Comparable store sales, excluding online sales, were down 0.6% from a year earlier. Urban Outfitters (URBN - Get Report) also played a happy earnings tune, with shares rising 8% to close at $43.19. The teen retailer following Monday's market close reported fiscal second-quarter EPS of 51 cents, exceeding the consensus estimate by three cents, with same-store sales up 9% year-over-year. J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) shares were also hot, rising 6% to close at $14.01, even though the company reported a larger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter net loss of $586 million, or $2.66 a share, with net sales down 12% year-over-year to $2.66 billion. The company appeared to be making some progress on its turnaround and said it expected only a slight decline in liquidity through the end of the year. Heading into Wednesday, investors will be focused on the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's most recent meeting. Clues are being sought on just when the Federal Reserve might curtail its monthly purchases of $85 billion in long-term securities, which has continued since last September. Anticipating a tapering of central-bank balance sheet expansion, investors have sent the market yield on 10-year Treasury bonds up over 110 basis points from 1.70% at the end of April.