U.S. equity markets were higher overnight, with the Dow Jones finishing above 13,000 points for the first time in more than a week as the International Monetary Fund raised its economic forecasts and concern about Europe’s debt crisis eased.
By the close the Dow had soared 194 points to 13,156, with the NASDAQ 54 points stronger at 3043.
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday offered a more optimistic take on the global economy, saying the U.S. economy should expand 2.1% this year. Europe will likely contract 0.3% and the world economy should expand 3.5%.
In corporate news, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Tuesday posted a 23 percent decline in first-quarter profit, but beat estimates on better-than-expected revenue from investment banking.
For the three months that ended March 31, net income fell to $2.11 billion from $2.74 billion a year earlier with earnings per share of $3.92, beating the $3.55 average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Net revenue fell 16 percent to $9.95 billion. Analysts had expected $9.48 billion in revenue.
First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rallied 8.5% after the solar-panel maker said it would cut about 30% of its work force.
After the close, investors will get the latest numbers from Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).
Yahoo is expected to announce earnings of 17 cents per share, while IBM is anticipated to have earnings of $2.65 per share.
Beverage giant The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) reported Tuesday first-quarter profit and revenues were up amid strong volume growth, especially in emerging markets like India and the Middle East and North Africa.
Net earnings rose eight percent to $2.05 billion, or 89 cents per share for the period that ended March 30. This compared to a year-earlier profit of $1.91 billion, or 82 cents per share.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said Tuesday its first-quarter profit rose 12 percent, as lower spending on research, sales and administration helped to make up for the negative impact of generic competition.
TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) Tuesday reported a lower fiscal second-quarter profit as low interest rates and stock volatility cut into the discount brokerage's income as expenses also rose.
The brokerage's largest shareholder is Toronto Dominion Bank (TSE:TD), Canada's second-largest bank, which holds a stake of around 45 percent.
In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department said that March housing starts occurred at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, down from February's rate of 694,000, and below estimates.
March applications for building permits, however, came in at an annual rate of 747,000, beating expectations and up from February's rate of 715,000.
On the NYMEX, gold for June delivery advanced $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,651.10 an ounce while crude for May delivery rose $1.27 to end the day at $104.20 a barrel.
European stocks closed with solid gains as the FTSE 100 added 1.8%, the DAX rose 2.7% and the CAC 40 climbed 2.7%.