US stocks rose on Tuesday as investors sought bargains following the market's worst daily session since November and more companies reported results that were stronger than expected.
Major stock indexes had dropped about 1% in Monday's session, pressured by renewed worries over the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis. Still, equities have been strong performers recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 index up 4.9% for 2013.
Dell Inc agreed to go private in a $24.4 billion deal that was widely expected. Shares of the computer maker rose 0.7% to $13.36 after a brief trading halt.
Wall Street has advanced on strong fourth-quarter earnings and signs of improved economic growth, suggesting the market's longer-term trend remains higher.
"Stocks are really the only place investors can go for any kind of real return, and that's enough to have people continuing to come into the market, not just buying on dips but in general," said Thomas Nyheim, portfolio manager at Christiana Trust in Greenville, Delaware.
Archer Daniels Midland reported revenue and adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations, boosted by strong global demand for oilseeds. Shares rose 4% to $29.58.
Estee Lauder Cos Inc gained 4.5% to $63.78 after reporting results.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 4.5%, according to the data, above the 1.9% forecast at the start of earnings season, but well below the 9.9% forecast on October 1.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.88 points, or 0.60%, at 13,963.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.16 points, or 0.61%, at 1,504.87.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.80 points, or 0.35%, at 3,141.97.
At current levels, the S&P is less than 5% away from its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, reached in October 2011.
McGraw-Hill<MHP. N> extended its Monday decline, slumping 7.1% to $46.68 as the U. S. Justice Department launched a civil lawsuit against the company and its unit, Standard & Poor's, over mortgage bond ratings. The action marks the first such federal action against a credit rating agency related to the recent financial crisis.
The stock has dropped more than 20% over the past two days.
U. S. shares of BP Plc rose 1.8% to $44.38 after the company reported earnings that beat expectations and said underlying financial momentum would be "strongly evident" by 2014.
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index was 55.2 in January, as expected and down slightly from the previous month.