U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday after several big companies issued solid earnings reports. Stocks had closed at five-month lows the day before, and groups of companies that have struggled badly made big gains.
Many of the best-performing stocks Tuesday came from parts of the market that have fared the worst during the market's plunge this month. Those included smaller and more U.S.-focused companies, internet and media firms, basic materials makers and energy companies.
Oreo maker Mondelez and athletic apparel maker Under Armour both jumped after posting strong third-quarter results.
Corporate earnings are up about 20% this year as the U.S. economy gains strength and corporate taxes come down after last year's tax cut. Analysts expect company profits to keep growing in 2019, but at a slower pace.
Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivative strategist for BTIG, said investors are worried about two things that could slow the economy further: the U.S.-China trade war and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.
“All of this fear about growth is being traded on something we don't see in the statistics right now,” he said. “You factually don't have signs of an economic slowdown yet.”
The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 41.38 points, or 1.6%, to 2,682.63. On Monday the index closed at its lowest level since early May after a report that the Trump administration could announce more tariffs on imports from China in December.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 431.72 points, or 1.8%, to 24,874.64. The Nasdaq composite advanced 111.36 points, or 1.6%, to 7,161.65. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks jumped 29.33 points, or 2%, to 1,506.64.
Trading remained uneven: The S&P 500 fell at the start of trading and then turned sharply higher. Hours later, it gave up all of its gains and briefly went into the red, but it recovered to finish near its highest levels of the day.
Mondelez, which makes Cadbury chocolates and Trident gum in addition to Oreos, climbed 5% to $42.12 — the most in a year — after its quarterly profit surpassed analysts' projections. Other household goods makers also did well. Walmart rose 2.6% to $102.42.
Among media companies, video game maker Take-Two Interactive leaped 11% to $124.01 after it said its game “Red Dead Redemption 2” brought in $725 million in retail sales over its first three days. Take-Two shares are sharply lower this month as media, internet and technology companies have taken a beating.
Some of the biggest losses during the market's current downturn have hit longtime investor favorites that had soared in recent months. Amazon and Netflix have both plunged 24% in October, but those companies had more to lose than many others did: Amazon is still up 31% this year, and Netflix is up 49%.
Elsewhere among internet and media companies, Comcast jumped 4.8% and Facebook rose 2.9% to $146.22. The social media company rose an additional 1.4% in aftermarket trading after it reported a third-quarter profit that beat analyst expectations.
Among technology companies, Intel rose 5.2% to $47.76, and fellow chipmaker Nvidia jumped 9.4% to $203.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500's indexes of utilities and household goods makers have each climbed 3% this month. The broader S&P 500 has tumbled 7.9% over the same time.
General Electric sank 8.8% to $10.18 on Tuesday, its lowest price since April 2009. In December, the company slashed its quarterly dividend to 12 cents from 24 cents, and Tuesday it cut it to 1 cent. The struggling industrial giant also said the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into a $22-billion charge it booked to its power business this year. Securities regulators were also conducting a civil investigation.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.12% from 3.08%.
Benchmark U.S. crude slid 1.3% to $66.18 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, sank 1.8% to $75.91 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell 1% to $1.81 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1.1% to $2.26 a gallon and natural gas fell 0.3% to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell 0.2% to $1,225.30 an ounce. Silver rose 0.1% to $14.46 an ounce. Copper slumped 2.8% to $2.66 a pound.
The dollar rose to 112.96 yen from 112.35 yen. The euro fell to $1.1342 from $1.1390.
European stocks mostly fell following a report that the economic growth of the 19-country eurozone unexpectedly slowed in the third quarter. It expanded 0.2% in the July-through-September period, falling short of analyst forecasts. Experts say growth is likely to pick up again, but it's unlikely to match last year's strong performance as the region faces issues such as Britain's departure from the European Union, trade disputes and a clash with Italy over that country's budget.
A weakening of the Chinese yuan helped some stock indexes in Asia.