New York (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks finished higher Tuesday, with the Dow industrials scoring their biggest one-day gain since Sept. 13, buoyed by strong earnings from several major companies and reports that Spain is mulling a request for a line of credit from the European Union.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.95% rallied 127.55 points, or 1%, to close at 13,551.78, with 24 of its 30 components finishing higher.
The benchmark index marked a third straight session of gains as well as its highest close since Oct. 8. Its gain was the largest since the day the Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing.
Several Dow companies reported generally robust earnings ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell, including Johnson & Johnson JNJ +1.38% , UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH -1.06% and Coca-Cola Co. KO -0.60% .
After the market closed Tuesday, though, International Business Machines IBM -3.37% and Intel Corp. INTC +2.85% posted third-quarter financial results, with both reporting a fall in revenue.
Ahead of the quarterly results, chip maker Intel was the top gainer in the Dow, rallying 2.9%.
Health-care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson tacked on 1.4%. The company raised its per-share earnings estimate for the year.
The S&P 500 index SPX +1.03% gained 14.79 points, or 1%, to close at 1,454.92, with energy and materials the top gainers among its 10 industry groups. The index also notched its highest close since Oct. 8.
Murphy Oil Corp. MUR +8.03% rallied 8%, the second-best gainer in the S&P 500, on news that the company’s board has approved the spinoff of its U.S. downstream unit.
The Nasdaq Composite index COMP +1.21%climbed 36.99 points, or 1.2%, to 3,101.17.
In the financial sector, shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -1.03% ended lower, down 1%. The investment bank swung to a third-quarter profit and raised its quarterly dividend to 50 cents a share from 46 cents.