Major U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday were headed for their first gain after three straight losses. Encouraging earnings from Domino's Pizza, Citigroup and others helped drive the modest rally, which began strong and tapered somewhat toward the end of the day. A rebound in airlines stocks also gave the market a lift. Meanwhile, oil prices plunged.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,334 as of 3:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,878. The Nasdaq gained 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,226.
LONG WAY BACK: 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 1.5 percent for 2014, while the S&P 500 index is up 1.7 percent.
THE QUOTE: Joe Peta, managing director at Novus Partners, characterized Tuesday's turnaround as a bounce back after a rush to sell late Monday, but not an indication that market sentiment has turned positive.
"The bank earnings this morning certainly made people feel a little bit better," Peta said. "For the time being, at least, the panic selling is over."
BANK REPORT CARDS: 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 fell 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $57.89. Wells Fargo's earnings matched analysts' expectations, while Citigroup's results came in better than expected. Wells Fargo slipped $1.50, or 3 percent, to $48.65. Citigroup rose $1.27, or 2.5 percent, to $51.19.
TASTY SLICE: Domino's Pizza jumped 9.2 percent on better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The pizza delivery chain operator's stock rose $6.98 to $82.70.
REGAINING ALTITUDE: 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 $1.81, or 5.8 percent, to $32.69, while Southwest climbed $1.22, or 4.3 percent, to $30.11. American Airlines Group gained $2.91, or 10.2 percent, to $31.49.
THICKER THAN WATER: Shares in Cerus climbed 6.2 percent after the Food and Drug Administration approved expanded access of the biotechnology company's developing blood treatment. The stock added 24 cents to $4.10.
COMPETITION CONCERNS: 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 1.8 percent as investors worried about looming competition for the drug. The stock shed $1.81 to $97.36.
SECTOR MONITOR: Seven of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 rose, with industrial stocks posting the biggest gain. Health care stocks fell the most.
ENERGY SAPPED: The price of oil suffered its biggest drop in nearly two years after the International Energy Agency reduced its forecast for demand for this year and next. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $3.90, or 4.5 percent, to close at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the biggest decline since November 2012. The closing price is the lowest since June 2012.
MORE ENERGY PRICES: Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $3.85 to close at $85.04 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Brent is at its lowest level since November of 2010. In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline fell 7.5 cents to close at $2.180 a gallon, heating oil fell 8.5 cents to close at $2.472 a gallon and natural gas fell 10 cents to close at $3.816 per 1,000 cubic feet.
BIG DECLINER: Gilead Sciences dropped the most out of all the stocks in the S&P 500 index. The stock slid $4.93, or 4.9 percent, to $96.55.
SHAKY OUTLOOK: 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.
OVERSEAS MARKETS: 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.
COMMODITIES and BONDS: 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 2.21 percent from 2.29 percent late Friday.
AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.