Volatility has been rampant on Wall Street in 2022, but it hasn't all been directed to the downside. Tuesday's big move higher stemmed from more positive news on the geopolitical front, overwhelming further troubling news on inflation that could weigh on longer-term prospects for the economy. As of 2 p.m. ET, the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.55%) was up more than 2%.
One key gainer in the Nasdaq was Nvidia (NVDA -0.01%), which continued to regain ground after a sharp drop since November. However, even though it had a smaller gain on Tuesday, the rise in shares of international hospitality company Marriott (MAR 3.25%) was arguably a stronger indicator of the resiliency of the economy and the market. Let's take a closer look at both companies below.
Nvidia leads chipmakers higher
Shares of Nvidia were up more than 8% on Tuesday afternoon. The company benefited from more favorable sentiment about the semiconductor industry writ large, with a host of factors helping stocks like Nvidia.
Merger and acquisition activity in semiconductors has been on the rise, and a new deal today added to the excitement among investors. Intel's (INTC -2.15%) decision to acquire Tower Semiconductor (TSEM 0.95%) was just the latest in a series of moves taking place throughout the sector. The completion of Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD 0.19%) $35 billion acquisition of Xilinx is another example of the demand for consolidation.
For its part, Nvidia failed in its efforts to acquire Arm, with the planned $40 billion merger falling through last week. Yet in many ways, the failure has only stiffened Nvidia's resolve to keep fighting back, and continued shortages of key semiconductor products should mean that the chip giant will see healthy demand throughout 2022.
At its worst levels in late January, Nvidia had seen its stock fall about 35% from its November highs. Since then, though, the chipmaker has clawed back much of that lost ground, and many see Nvidia as having above-average prospects to return to all-time record highs before too long -- especially if favorable conditions in the semiconductor industry remain in place.
Marriott moves higher
Meanwhile, shares of Marriott International were up nearly 5% on the day. The hotel giant reported quarterly financial results that gave investors confidence about the travel industry's return to strength after a tough time in the opening year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marriott's fourth-quarter financial report showed considerable progress toward a recovery, although the numbers didn't return to pre-pandemic levels. Total revenue more than doubled to $4.45 billion, with net income of $468 million reversing a year-earlier loss. Earnings of $1.42 per share largely satisfied investors and capped a strong 2021 for the hotel chain. Revenue per available room soared 124.5% year over year, although it was down 19% from comparable figures from the fourth quarter of 2019 before the pandemic began.
Marriott hasn't given up on its expansion plans. The hotel company added 86,000 rooms in 2021, sending total rooms up almost 4% from the end of 2020. Marriott also reported having more than 200,000 rooms under construction as of year end.
CEO Anthony Capuano heralded the huge bounce in leisure demand while admitting that improvement in business travel has lagged behind. Nevertheless, Marriott is optimistic about the prospects for business travelers returning to the road in 2022, and that could give the hotel company another leg up in the coming year.