Stocks closed higher Tuesday, as investors turned their attention to corporate news.
"The market is trying to give people comfort that we're starting to build a base to go up from," said Frank Davis, director of trading at LEK Securities.
The Dow flirted with 14,000 for most of the day but wasn't able to close above that threshold. Bank of America (Fortune 500) was the biggest gainer on the blue-chip index. ,
But it was tech stocks that drove Tuesday's rally, helped by the highly anticipated announcement of a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of computer maker Dell (Fortune 500). The deal, if completed, would be one of the largest LBOs ever. ,
Shares of UK cable operator Virgin Media ( rallied more than 17%, making it the biggest gainer on the Nasdaq. The company confirmed it has been approached by media billionaire John Malone's )Liberty Global (Fortune 500) about a , possible deal.
Investors also had a slew of earnings to pore through.
BP ( kicked off the day with results noting the company paid out billions in fines to the U.S. government, yet shares rose more than 1%, )
Mastercard (Fortune 500) shares rose nearly 1% after the company announced it will start a new stock repurchase program and double its quarterly cash dividends to 60 cents per share. ,
Shares of J.C. Penney (Fortune 500) were up more than 3%, after the retailer filed a lawsuit to protect itself from having nearly $3 billion in debt come due in the next few months. ,
Baidu ( shares tumbled 10% on analysts' worries about the company's rising costs. )
After the bell, Disney (Fortune 500) reported earnings and revenues that beat forecasts. Shares of the media and entertainment company ticked up slightly after hours. ,
Zynga ( shares spiked in after-hours trading after the company )beat analyst's forecasts.
European markets ended the day up between 0.3% and 1.2%.
Asian markets closed mixed. The Shanghai Composite added 0.2%, while the Nikkei dropped 1.9% and the Hang Seng declined 2.3%.
The U.S. dollar gained versus the British pound and the Japanese yen, but lost ground against the euro.
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