NEW YORK – Stocks rose Tuesday as investors sorted through a mix of earnings numbers and awaited reports from Yahoo Inc. and Apple Inc. after the close.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 60 points in late trading after falling 140 earlier. Other indexes also rose. Volume was extremely light, which helped to exaggerate price moves.
Investors began the day by selling in response to companies' revenue figures that fell short of expectations. Stocks then started drifting higher in afternoon trading, but analysts said they saw no catalyst for the turnaround.
"It's fickle, a summer trading day. There's a lack of demand and lack of supply. It lacks conviction," said Stephen Carl, head of equity trading at The Williams Capital Group.
Trading was expected to be choppy while investors await earnings reports from hundreds of companies over the next few weeks. So far, investors are not happy with what they're seeing.
Johnson & Johnson's revenue missed expectations following drug recalls, and IBM Corp. said it signed fewer services contracts. Texas Instruments Inc.'s revenue came in line with forecasts but investors were hoping for better. Investors have been focusing on revenue rather than earnings because of the link between companies' sales and the economy. If revenue is down because consumers aren't spending, that's a sign that the economy will remain weak for some time.
Leading investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also reported lower revenue as its trading business was curtailed by the financial markets' difficult spring.
But the earnings news wasn't all bad, and that likely contributed to stocks' move higher.
PepsiCo Inc.'s revenues jumped 40 percent thanks to a deal to buy out its two biggest bottlers, which was showing signs of paying off for the company's U.S. drinks business. Excluding currency fluctuations, Pepsi's earnings per share came in ahead of analysts' expectations.
After the close of trading, Yahoo Inc. and Apple Inc. were reporting their results. If their reports disappointed investors, stocks could be expected to head downward again on Wednesday.
In the last hour, the Dow rose 65.77, or 0.7 percent, to 10,220.20. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.19, or 1 percent, to 1,082.44 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 19.39, or 0.9 percent, to 2,217.62.
Advancing stocks were ahead of losers by 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to an extremely 890 million shares.
Johnson & Johnson's revenues came in flat, and below what analysts were expecting. The company said several recalls of popular nonprescription medicines kept its top line in check. J&J's shares, a component of the Dow, fell $1.27 or 2.2 percent to $58.30.