U.S. stocks moved higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, on track for their first gain after three straight losses. Investors were focusing on a slate of corporate earnings, including better-than-expected results from Citibank and Domino's Pizza. Airline stocks also were among the big risers.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98 points to 16,420 as of 2:13 p.m. ET. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 16 points to 1,890. The Nasdaq gained 42 points to 4,253.
"We'll see how much stability comes back to the market as a result of this," said Matt Whitbread, investment manager at Baring Asset Management. "We've seen some active afternoon sessions of late where we've seen some quick give-ups of some of the morning gains."
Stocks are coming off their worst week in more than two years. The Dow went negative for the year on Friday. A late-afternoon slide on Monday extended the market slump, sending the Dow 222 points lower. The Dow is now down 1.1 percent for 2014, while the S&P 500 index is up 2.1 percent.
Several major banks kicked off the third-quarter corporate earnings season. JPMorgan Chase returned to a profit, but missed Wall Street's expectations. The stock bounced back after being down earlier in the day, rising 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $58.21. Wells Fargo's earnings matched analysts' expectations, while Citigroup's results came in better than expected. Wells Fargo slipped 68 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $49.51. Citigroup rose $1.37, or 2.7 percent, to $51.27.
Domino's Pizza jumped 9.3 percent on better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The pizza delivery chain operator's stock rose $7.07 to $82.79.
Several airline stocks surged a day after the sector got pummeled amid mounting worries that the Ebola virus outbreak could curb travel spending. Delta jumped $1.76, or 5.7 percent, to $32.67, while Southwest climbed $1.47, or 5.1 percent, to $30.35. American Airlines Group gained $3.26, or 11.4 percent, to $31.87.
Shares in Cerus climbed 9.1 percent after the Food and Drug Administration approved expanded access of the biotechnology company's developing blood treatment. The stock added 35 cents to $4.21.
Johnson & Johnson raised its 2014 earnings outlook, partly due to revenue gains from its new blockbuster hepatitis C drug. But shares in the world's biggest health care products maker slipped about 1 percent as investors worried about looming competition for the drug. The stock fell 89 cents to $98.22.
Eight of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 rose, with industrial stocks posting the biggest gain. Health care stocks fell the most.
Tyco International dropped the most out of all the stocks in the S&P 500 index. The stock slid $1.38, or 3.3 percent, to $40.16.
Resistance from Germany to increasing government spending to stimulate economic growth in Europe dampened hopes for additional steps to counter what some economists believe may be a lapse back into recession for the region. On Tuesday, Germany got another dose of bad economic news. The ZEW index of investor sentiment fell for a tenth consecutive month in October.
European markets rose. France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent, and Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.
U.S. crude oil dropped $2.74, or 3.2 percent, to $83 a barrel. The price of gold rose $4.30 to $1,234.30 an ounce, silver rose six cents to $17.40 an ounce and copper rose five cents to $3.09 a pound. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.23 percent from 2.29 percent late Friday.