In the midst of earnings season, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), which fell nearly 130 points yesterday, made back much of yesterday's losses. Impressive corporate results, combined with positive sentiment resulting from the private equity buyout of PC mainstay Dell, resulted in today's 99 point, or 0.71%, surge, which left the index at 13,979.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), one of the more volatile stocks in the blue-chip index, remained true to form Tuesday, bouncing 3.5% higher to earn its spot as one of the Dow's top performers. Positive economic numbers, mainly the Institute of Supply Management's release -- detailing a 37th consecutive month of service sector expansion -- helped shares of the bank rally today.
On the losing side of things, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) was one of only two decliners in the blue-chip index, as shares declined 0.5%. Investors weren't impressed by Big Blue's announcement that it would be issuing $2 billion in floating-rate debt. The big news with Dell today may also be partly responsible. As a private company, Dell might be able to compete in ways it was previously unable to as a public company.
Shares in the online gaming company Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) gained 7% ahead of its earnings report, which ended up driving the stock up even higher. It tacked on as much as 8% after hours as CEO Mark Pincus' October strategy of laying off staff and buying back $200 million worth of its own stock seemed to pay off.
Finally, shares of Chinese search engine Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) dropped 10.1% today, even after a blowout quarter where revenue rose more than 40% and profits jumped 36%. The results, which exceeded estimates, were not the issue. Investors appeared to worry that the company's first-quarter revenue guidance of $945 million fell well short of the nearly $970 million analysts expected.