Global stock markets steadied and U.S. markets advanced strongly Tuesday, as investors were encouraged by strong results from big companies, including UPS and Ford.
At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 189.7 points, about 1.1 percent, at 17,630.3. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 25.6 points, about 1.2 percent, to 2,093.3, and the Nasdaq composite gained 49.4 points, about 1 percent, to 5,089.2.
BEAR MARKET ENERGY: As markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 31 cents at $47.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude slipped 15 cents to $53.31 a barrel in London, a day after entering a bear market. Brent reached a recent high of $67.77 on May 6. The price of the U.S. benchmark crude entered a bear market last Thursday, falling 21 percent below its recent peak of $61.01 on June 23.
HOME DELIVERY: UPS rose $5.18, or 5.5 percent, to $100.32. The company saw profits jump from a year ago, helped by stronger business overseas. UPS earned $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per share, for the three months ended June 30. A year earlier it earned $454 million, or 49 cents per share. UPS is sometimes seen a proxy for the global economy because of its huge role in delivering goods all over the world on a daily basis.
DRIVING PROFITS: Ford shares rose 36 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $14.92. The carmaker said profits jumped 44 percent in the second quarter, helped by higher global sales and higher prices for premium trucks and SUVs. The profit of 47 cents a share easily beat Wall Street's expectations of 37 cents a share.
DUPONT STRUGGLES: Chemical giant DuPont fell 55 cents, or 1 percent, to $56.19. The company lowered its full-year outlook, citing weaker sales in its farm products business. DuPont also cut its dividend, a rare move for any company.
CHINA FALL: The Shanghai composite index closed down 1.7 percent after trading down as much as 4 percent earlier in the day. The index plunged 8.5 percent on Monday, its biggest drop since February 2007, despite concerted efforts by the Chinese government to stem the market's slide. The drop jolted global markets.
U.S. ECONOMY: Investors turned their attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as they try to assess when interest rates will be raised. Fed policymakers started a two-day meeting on Tuesday, but few central bank watchers expect a rate hike. Many expect the Fed to begin its next cycle of rate increases in September or December. Ultralow interest rates have been a boon for stock and bond markets, and many questions remain about how markets will react to the first increase since the 2008 financial crisis.