Wall Street bounced back on Tuesday as earnings at companies from Pfizer Inc. to D.R. Horton Inc. topped estimates and the market's focus turned to the Federal Reserve's next move on stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91 points or 0.57%, to end at 15,929. The S&P 500 gained 11 points or 0.61%, to finish at 1,793. The Nasdaq Composite added 14 points or 0.35%, to close at 4,098.
Shares of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) shot up 2.6%, boosting both the Dow and S&P 500, after the biggest US drugmaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Shares of D.R. Horton (DHI.N) surged 9.8% after the largest US homebuilder reported a 4% rise in quarterly orders.
Bucking Tuesday's trend, the stock of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plunged 8% to close at $506.50 - its worst slide in a year - a day after holiday iPhone sales missed expectations. During the regular session, activist investor Carl Icahn said he bought another half-billion dollars' worth of Apple stock, his third investment in the iPhone and iPad maker in less than a week. The purchase increases his stake to more than $4 billion.
After the bell, shares of audio chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc (CRUS.O), an Apple supplier, fell 4.6% as it forecast fourth-quarter revenue far below Wall Street's estimates.
In other moves after the bell, shares of Yahoo (YHOO.O) fell 3.9% after the company's results showed revenue declined for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Shares of AT&T (T.N) declined 1.7% after the company reported slower wireless subscriber growth in the latest quarter than Wall Street had estimated.
Investors were anxious ahead of the conclusion of the Fed's two-day policy meeting on Wednesday to hear whether it will cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond-buying programme.
The day's economic data showed US consumer confidence rose in January. Consumers grew more optimistic about both business conditions and the job market, according to the Conference Board.
But orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods unexpectedly declined 4.3% in December, and a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods also slid.
In Asia, shares gained on Wednesday after Turkey’s central bank more than doubled interest rates to arrest a currency slide that roiled global markets.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.1% to 136 as of 11:01 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.9% as the yen slid as much as 0.5% against the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.5%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increased 1.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.7% after data showed the nation’s industrial output increased 3.4% in December from November, the biggest gain since June 2009. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed.