Walmart forecast a smaller drop in full-year profit than previously projected, while Home Depot surpassed estimates for quarterly sales.
Rod von Lipsey is Managing Director at UBS Private Wealth Management.
"The retail sector of the American market is surprisingly important and strong because consumption is what drives our market. Seventy percent of our economy is based on retail sales and retail transactions. And so the fact that the consumer continues to go out and spend, feels comfortable to go out and purchase and buy, that's a good signal. That's a good sign of a healthy economy. And the markets are taking that in stride today. And that's why we've seen some strength in today's financial market."
In wild trading, shares of meme stock Bed Bath & Beyond surged 60% mid-day to a near five-month high on Tuesday, as retail investors flocked to the stock after a filing revealed activist investor Ryan Cohen's latest bet on the home goods retailer. Bed, Bath & Beyond ended the day up more than 29%.
Overall, the Dow gained nearly three-quarters of a percent, the S&P was barely changed as was the Nasdaq which lost about .2% with a rise in the 10-year Treasury yield weighing on technology and other high-growth stocks.
As for interest rates, traders are now seeing a 60% chance of a 50 basis-point hike by the Federal Reserve in September and a 40% chance of a 75 basis-point hike.