A drop in energy shares offset a rally in consumer and tech stocks as Wall Street's fear gauge falls to its lowest in a more than a decade. Fred Katayama reports.
Upbeat earnings pushed the S&P 500 to a record intraday high for a second straight day, but the index ended Tuesday flat. A drop in energy shares offset a rally in consumer and tech stocks. Wall Street's fear gauge called the VIX hit its lowest level in more than a decade. Sam Stovall of CFRA Research on the market's lack of momentum: SOUNDBITE: SAM STOVALL, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CFRA RESEARCH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think there's a lack of catalysts to propel it higher. But at the same time, there's also a lack of catalysts for fear to push it lower. I don't think investors really want to be bailing out of this kind of a market." Airline stocks like United and American flew higher. United reported a sharp rise in traffic for April. American raised its forecast for a key revenue metric, revenue per available seat mile. Marriott shares rose. Higher room rates and occupancy helped boost profit at the world's largest hotel chain's well beyond analysts' targets. Amazon.com cut its threshold for free shipping by $10 to $25. That undercuts Wal-Mart's $35 minimum. Valeant Pharmaceuticals catapulted higher. The troubled drugmaker swung to a quarterly profit from a loss and raised its earnings outlook for the full year. European shares rebounded from Monday's losses. Materials and healthcare stocks were the big gainers.