NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks jumped Wednesday during the afternoon session, boosted by a strong quarter from department store operator Macy's, which offset concern the Federal Reserve will curb its economic stimulus program in December.
Macy's (M) was the top performer in the S&P 500 as shares surged 9.4% to $50.68 after the department store kicked off third-quarter earnings reports with a strong earnings beat. Macy's also beat on revenue amid a 3.5% increase in comparable sales, which includes net sales from stores open at least one full fiscal year as well as online sales at macys.com and bloomingdales.com.
"I think the market is just going to grind higher, and we're coming to the end of the year, and the end of the year is usually a good time for the market," said Karyn Cavanaugh, a market strategist for ING U.S. Investment Management.
General Motors (GM) popped 4.9% to $38.44 after the Treasury Department disclosed a $1.2 billion sale of shares in the automaker as the government moves closer to exiting its ownership position in the automaker, freeing the Detroit-based company to reinstate its dividend plan and pursue a share buyback program.
Stocks in Asia fell in reaction to the end of a four-day meeting on Tuesday that aimed to outline Chinese economic policy for the coming decade. Investors noted a lack of clarity around financial reform, with little effort to reduce state dominance of the economy.