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Stocks Flip Monday's Rout; J.C. Penney Plummets

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks gained Tuesday, reversing much of the prior day's deep slump.

  • The S&P 500 was up 0.76% at 1,755.20, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.47% higher at 15,445.24. The Nasdaq added 0.86% to 4,031.52.
  • Factory orders fell by a less-than-expected 1.5% in December, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
  • J.C. Penney  (JCP - Get Report) was a sore spot in Tuesday's market action, tumbling 10.6% to $5.08, even after generating its first positive quarterly sales result since the second-quarter of 2011. Apparently the growth was not enough to impress investors.
  • In Fed speak, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said Tuesday he expects to see further reductions in the pace of Fed asset purchases at upcoming meetings amid a substantial improvement in a variety of indicators of labor market conditions. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said Tuesday in Detroit that interest rates should remain low well into 2015.
  • In other news, Australia's Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates steady at 2.5% Tuesday, and removed the dovish tone in its commentary, causing the Aussie to gain against the greenback.
  • Germany's DAX ended down 0.64% while the FTSE was off 0.25%. The Hang Seng closed 2.89% lower while the Nikkei dived 4.18%.
  • Yum! Brands (YUM) surged 8.9% after beating fourth-quarter earnings expectations on improved China restaurant margins. Michael Kors (KORS) soared 17.3% as its quarterly EPS came in at $1.11, topping the Wall Street target of 86 cents. Gap (GPS) shares were up 1.6% after being boosted to "buy" from "neutral" by UBS analysts, who see earnings growth over the next three years of 15% or above.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) shares slipped 0.36% to $36.35 Tuesday after the announcement Satya Nadella would be its next boss, replacing Steve Ballmer. Founder Bill Gates had stepped down from his role as chairman to become a technology adviser to Nadella.

-- Written by Andrea Tse, Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York

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