Closing Bell

Cerner, Compass, YRC, Kansas City Southern among top gainers

Updated: 2013-04-30T22:29:52Z

Compass Minerals, Cerner and YRC Worldwide were the top-performing local stocks Tuesday, joining in a broader rally on Wall Street.

On a percentage basis, Compass gained 4.9 percent, YRC was up 2.5 percent and Cerner closed 2.1 percent higher.

Other winners included Kansas City Southern, Waddell & Reed, and DST Systems.

Sprint fell 1 percent and Garmin, which releases earnings Wednesday, fell .5 percent.

Meanwhile, news that IBM will buy back more stock and raise its dividend helped pull major stock indexes out of a morning slump Tuesday.

IBM and other technology stocks led the Standard & Poor's 500 index up. The broad-market measure ended April with a 1.8 percent gain, the sixth month in a row the index has climbed higher.

Worries about slower economic growth have rattled the stock market this month, but it has consistently bounced back. Brad Sorensen, director of market research at the brokerage Charles Schwab, said that's a result of investors having few alternatives.

“Right now it seems like every pullback in the market is seen as a buying opportunity,” Sorensen said. “People may say they're getting nervous, but where else are you going to put money at this point? Into Europe with their political issues? Into Treasurys paying less than 1.7 percent?”

The S&P 500 edged up 3.96 points to close at 1,597.57. The slight gain of 0.3 percent pushed the index to an all-time high for the second day straight.

A report of another record high in European unemployment helped drive money into U.S. government debt, briefly sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to its lowest level of the year, 1.65 percent.

IBM said it will increase its quarterly dividend by a dime, to 95 cents, and buy back up to $5 billion more of its own stock. Earlier this month, the company surprised investors when it reported a drop in quarterly earnings and sales. IBM's stock rose $3.39 to $202.54.

The tech giant's 1.7 percent gain tugged the Dow Jones industrial average up. The Dow fell as much as 84 points in morning trading but ended with a gain of 21.05 points at 14,839.80. That's an increase of 0.1 percent.

The S&P has now climbed for six months in a row. That's the longest stretch of gains since a seven-month run that started in March 2009, when the market hit a financial crisis low, and ended in October 2009.

This earnings season has delivered investors a mixed bag of news. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have turned in results, and seven of 10 have beaten analysts' estimates for earnings, according to S&P Capital IQ. Nearly as many, however, have come up short on revenue: Six of 10 have missed analysts' revenue targets. That suggests companies are getting more of their profits from laying off staff and other cost-cutting efforts instead of from higher sales.

The Dow and the S&P 500 ended the month with gains of 1.8 percent. It wasn't exactly a smooth ride. The two indexes reached record highs in the second week of April, then took a steep fall in the next. News that China, the world's second-largest economy, slowed unexpectedly pummeled the prices of oil, copper and other commodities. The stock market had its worst day of the year on April 15, when the S&P 500 lost 2.3 percent.

In other trading, the Nasdaq composite index rose 21.77 points to 3,328.79, up 0.7 percent. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro, and the price of crude oil fell $1 to $93.46 a barrel. Gold edged up $4.70 to $1,472.10 an ounce.

The BATS 1000 rose 37.63 points, or 0.21 percent to close at 18,043.31.

Regional stocks

Capitol Federal Financial fell 7 cents, or 0.59%, to close at $11.83.

Cerner Corp. rose $1.98, or 2.09%, to close at $96.77.

Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 26 cents, or 0.65%, to close at $40.11.

Compass Minerals rose $4.01, or 4.86%, to close at $86.54.

DST Systems Inc. rose 62 cents, or 0.90%, to close at $69.15.

Ferrellgas Partners L.P. rose 7 cents, or 0.35%, to close at $19.83.

Garmin Ltd. fell 16 cents, or 0.45%, to close at $35.08.

Great Plains Energy rose 18 cents, or 0.75%, to close at $24.13.

H&R Block Inc. fell 21 cents, or 0.75%, to close at $27.74.

Inergy L.P. rose 18 cents, or 0.83%, to close at $21.99.

Kansas City Life Insurance Co. rose 16 cents, or 0.45%, to close at $36.10.

Kansas City Southern rose $1.43, or 1.33%, to close at $109.07.

Layne Christensen Co. rose 1 cents, or 0.05%, to close at $20.43.

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. fell 37 cents, or 0.34%, to close at $107.32.

Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 7 cents, or 0.98%, to close at $7.05.

UMB Financial Corp. rose 23 cents, or 0.46%, to close at $50.34.

Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 89 cents, or 2.12%, to close at $42.87.

YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 18 cents, or 2.46%, to close at $7.50.

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