US stocks rebound on economic reports

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Trader Robert Vella, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. Stocks jumped Tuesday, recovering much of Monday’s losses and picking up momentum from solid economic indicators. AP/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK—US stocks jumped Tuesday, recovering much of Monday’s losses and picking up momentum from solid economic indicators.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 99.22 points higher (0.71 percent) at 13,979.30.

The S&P 500 index climbed 15.58 (1.04 percent) to 1,511.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 40.41 (1.29 percent) to 3,171.58.

In a mid-afternoon market update, Charles Schwab & Co. attributed Tuesday’s “solidly higher” returns to economic reports showing US services sector activity rising and the contraction in eurozone business activity decelerating.

The Dow blue-chip members almost universally rose, with the biggest gains coming from UnitedHealth Group (up 3.7 percent), Bank of America (up 3.4 percent), JPMorgan Chase (up 2.3 percent) and American Express (up 2.1 percent).

Some companies on the Nasdaq index also performed well, with Apple jumping 3.5 percent and BlackBerry rising 7.6 percent.

Dell shares gained 1.1 percent at $13.42 after the company announced a $24.4 billion deal to go private, valuing the company at $13.65 a share.

Dell rival Hewlett-Packard also gained, rising 2.5 percent.

British Internet and cable TV firm Virgin Media gained 17.9 percent as it confirmed talks with Liberty Global to be acquired by the US cable giant. Liberty Global fell 2.3 percent.

McGraw-Hill, the owner of S&P, nosedived by 10.7 percent, the second day of sharp declines, after the Department of Justice sued S&P over its ratings in 2007 of mortgage bonds. S&P competitor Moody’s was also swept up in the negativity, dropping 8.8 percent, even though it was not listed in the complaint.

Fast-food franchise giant Yum Brands, owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut, sank 2.9 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings showed more impact in its China business from bad publicity over chicken raised on Chinese farms. Shanghai government officials are investigating after a television report showed excessive levels of antibiotics in chicken.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.02 percent from 1.97 late Monday, while the 30-year rose to 3.22 percent from 3.18 Monday. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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