The Dow Jones Industrials
All 30 Dow components rose with the banks moving the most. Bank of America
In an announcement after trading hours, the Fed said 15 of the 19 institutions it examined passed the stress test. Citigroup, Ally Financial, SunTrust, and MetLife were the four that failed, and all but Ally dropped about 4% in after-hours trading.
Of the non-financial Dow components, Alcoa
Before JPMorgan Chase's big announcement, a Census Bureau report showing retail sales growth at a five-month high got the market started off in the black. Sales in the sector grew 1.1% from the previous month and 6.5% versus February 2011 totals. Car sales were a big factor, increasing 1.6% from a month ago, their fastest pace in four years. Interestingly, Dow retailers Home Depot and Wal-Mart were among Tuesday's poorer performers.
In other market-moving news, President Obama joined with the EU and Japan to ask the World Trade Organization to force China to ease its rare-earth element export restrictions. China controls 95% of the world's rare-earth minerals, which have become increasingly vital commodities in the modern world, with a number of high-tech applications such as wind turbines, smartphones, and electric car batteries depending on them. The move sent shares of rare-earth miners Molycorp
With many of the Wall Street banks getting a key stamp of approval from the Fed, now could be a good time to invest in financials. The banking sector still looks undervalued to some, including Warren Buffett, who said, "It doesn't make any sense. If I had the choice of buying or selling certain banks today, I'd be buying." Our experts have found a few smaller banks that look like hidden gems at today's prices. Read all about them and why they're such a good investment today in the Fool's new free report, “The Stocks the Smartest Investors Are Buying." You can get your copy right here.
Fool Contributor Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Molycorp but holds no other positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart Stores, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart Stores and The Home Depot; and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.