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U.S. equity markets pushed higher after Monday's selloff as traders eyed encouraging retail sales data and better-than-expected bank earnings.
As of 12:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 68.9 points, or 0.42%, to 16326, the S&P 500 (GSPC) advanced 13.6 points, or 0.75%, to 1833 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) rose 53 points, or 1.3%, to 4166.
The broad S&P 500 posted its worst selloff since November on Monday as traders wondered if stocks have gone up too much, too quickly. The verdict is still out on whether the sharp move was a one-day blip or something bigger. Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at The Lindsey Group, struck a bearish tone in a note to clients Tuesday.
"Call yesterday’s market selloff a digestion, consolidation, a breather, overdue, well needed or whatever, but however you want to describe it, the underlying reason for it and the lackluster trading year to date goes to what I still believe will result in a down year in 2014," he said.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) posted lower fourth-quarter profits on the day, but still beat Wall Street's expectations on the top and bottom lines. Shares of the biggest U.S. bank by assets fell slightly in pre-market trading. Fellow banking heavyweight Wells Fargo (WFC) also beat the Street.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2% in December from the month prior, slightly beating Wall Street’s expectation of a 0.1% gain. Excluding the automotive segment, sales climbed 0.7%, beating views of a 0.4% pick-up, marking the biggest increase since February 2013.
The Labor Department reported U.S. export prices rose 0.4% in December from the month prior, slightly higher than the 0.1% increases Wall Street expected. Meanwhile, import prices remained unchanged from November, while the Street expected a slight 0.3% increase.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures rose 19 cents, or 0.21%, to $91.99 a barrel. Wholesalee New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.23% to $2.628 a gallon. Gold slipped $2.90, or 0.23%, to $1,248 a troy ounce.