The gains were broad, with all 10 S&P 500 sectors up for the day and
about 75 percent of New York Stock Exchange-traded stocks ending
higher. About 67 percent of Nasdaq-listed shares closed in positive
territory, while the S&P 500 ended just 1.6 percent away from its
record closing high.
Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives caved in to
demands by President Barack Obama and agreed to advance legislation
increasing Washington's borrowing authority, removing a potential
Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasized continuity in the U.S. central
bank's policy strategy of cutting asset purchases by $10 billion a
month, saying she strongly supports the approach of her predecessor,
Ben Bernanke. In her first public comments as Fed chief, Yellen also
said that while the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen recently,
labor market conditions needed to improve further.
"No one was really expecting a major debt ceiling showdown or
changes in tapering, but anticipation is one thing, and the
experience is another," said John Carey, portfolio manager at
Pioneer Investment Management in Boston. "Everyone is more relaxed
now that those issues are officially off the table."
The Fed's policies have been credited with driving the market's
steep gains in 2013, and those accommodative measures are expected
to keep a floor under stock prices for as long as they continue.
However, had the pace of ending the program been slowed, it may have
raised concerns that the economy was still not strong enough to grow
on its own.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 192.98 points, or
1.22 percent, to end at 15,994.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
<.SPX> rose 19.91 points, or 1.11 percent, to finish at 1,819.75.
The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 42.87 points, or 1.03
percent, to close at 4,191.05.
All three indexes scored a fourth straight gain, with the S&P 500
jumping about 4 percent over that period. The index also moved above
its 50-day moving average for the first time since January 24, a
positive sign of near-term momentum. The index has recovered much of
its recent weakness, which took the index down as much as 6 percent
from its record close on January 15.
Sprint Corp <S.N> rose 2.7 percent to end at $7.90 after the company
reported quarterly revenue ahead of analysts' expectations and said
it added wireless subscribers in the fourth quarter.
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CVS Caremark Corp <CVS.N> shares climbed 2.7 percent to finish at
$68.77 after the company posted higher quarterly profit as it
processed more prescriptions.
Of the 357 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings
through Tuesday morning, 67.8 percent have beaten profit
expectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent, according
to Thomson Reuters data. Almost 66 percent have topped revenue
forecasts, above the historical average of 61 percent.
On the downside, the shares of both Dean Foods Co <DF.N> and ConAgra
Foods <CAG.N> fell after the companies gave weak outlooks. Dean
Foods warned of a first-quarter loss while ConAgra cut its full-year
outlook. Dean's stock slid 7.4 percent to $14.08 while ConAgra's
stock lost 6.3 percent to $29.08.
After the market closed, shares of Fossil Group Inc <FOSL.O> rose 5
percent to $122.80 after the watch and accessories company reported
fourth-quarter results, while TripAdvisor Inc <TRIP.O> shares rose 1
percent to $85 after the travel website company's results.
Infloblox Inc <BLOX.N> shares plunged 48.1 percent to $17.19 after
the network equipment maker estimated second-quarter revenue below
analysts' average forecast.
Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc <CADX.O> surged 26.5 percent to $14
after the company agreed to be acquired by specialty pharmaceuticals
company Mallinckrodt Plc <MNK.N> for about $1.3 billion.
Mallinckrodt's stock climbed 11.6 percent to $66.19.
About 5.94 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to
BATS exchange data.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jan
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