to shake off concerns about the prior day’s spike in bond yields. The market also failed to react much to a Commerce Department report early Wednesday that showed U.S. residential construction fell 3.7 percent in April following a steep drop in apartment construction. “The market is taking the weaker number with a grain of salt, remembering that colder weather could be a factor,” Lavin said. “Year-over-year housing permits are still up.”
Technology and health care companies bounced back Wednesday after taking some of the worst losses a day earlier. Western Digital rose 4.9 percent to $87.02, while Cerner added 2.9 percent to $59.97.
Investors continued to sift through the latest batch of corporate report cards from big-name retailers, many of which are issuing quarterly results this week.
Macy’s latest results far exceeded analysts’ expectations. The department store operator noted that its Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury divisions as well as its flagship store brand all did well. The company’s shares led all stocks in the S&P 500, vaulting 10.8 percent to $33.17.
“Seeing encouraging earnings and guidance from Macy’s, on top of asexpected growth in retail sales, it gives investors additional reason to be optimistic,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Equity Research.
Office Depot climbed 5.1 percent to $2.46 after the office supply company maintained its forecasts for the year.
Several other retailers also moved higher. Nordstrom added 2.4 percent to $51.05, while L Brands gained 2.6 percent to $34.19. Target shares picked up 2.9 percent to $75.23.
Investors will get to pore over more results from retailers Thursday, including Walmart, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom.
“Retail is important because it’s a reflection of consumer sentiment and you have many people who are employed by the brick-andmortar retailers,” Stovall said.
Abaxis was among the big gainers Wednesday. The veterinary diagnostics products company vaulted 16.2 percent to $83.34 after it agreed to be acquired by Zoetis.
The dollar fell to 110.25 yen from 110.38 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1802 from $1.1847.