The stock market managed to put in a big bounce on Tuesday, recovering a lot of lost ground from Monday’s swoon. Although investors still have a lot to worry about, they seemed to take some solace from the global economy making further progress toward returning to prepandemic conditions. As of 11:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 559 points to 34,521. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) gained 61 points to 4,319, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) was higher by 188 points to 14,463.
A lot of high-growth stocks get constant attention from investors. However, some of the biggest winners on Tuesday morning were in areas that wouldn’t necessarily get a lot of love from anyone on either Wall Street or Main Street. Below, we’ll look more closely at how HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) and Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) managed to lead the markets higher.
Feeling a lot healthier
Shares of HCA Healthcare soared more than 14% on Tuesday morning. The hospital operator enjoyed a big rebound from tough conditions a year ago.
HCA’s second-quarter financial results showed the contrast between last year’s shutdowns and this year’s reopening for healthcare companies. Revenue jumped more than 30% year over year, and net income rose at an even healthier 34% rate. Those gains came despite the fact that HCA recognized more than $820 million in income in the year-ago period from stimulus measures under the CARES Act.
A lot more people went to medical facilities this year than they did during the pandemic lockdown. Same-facility equivalent admissions were up nearly 27% from year-ago levels, with emergency room visits up 40% and outpatient surgeries soaring 52%. HCA’s numbers were largely consistent with 2019’s second quarter.
HCA is optimistic about its future, boosting guidance as well. With the economy starting to look healthier, hard-hit hospital companies like HCA might finally get their day in the sun.
Bank on a bounce
Meanwhile, Zions Bancorporation saw its stock rise more than 7%. Investors liked what they saw in the Utah-based bank’s second-quarter financial results.
Zions’ latest numbers for the second quarter of 2021 were far better than they were a year ago. Earnings of $2.08 per share were more than six times greater than the $0.34 per share on the bottom line that Zions posted in the second quarter of 2020. A substantial part of that income came from Zions’ decision to release more than $120 million of its allowance for credit losses, with CEO Harris Simmons saying that the bank has a more optimistic view of the future performance of its loan portfolio.
Zions is also looking financially strong. The bank’s common equity tier 1 ratio has jumped more than a full percentage point since the beginning of the pandemic, reaching 11.3%. Loan balances remained stable after accounting for one-time stimulus loans under the Payroll Protection Program, and Zions brought in a lot of deposits to bolster future growth.
Banks have struggled as interest rates have remained low, but Zions is doing well. With the Mountain West region seeing gains in population and economic activity, the bank is well situated to take full advantage.
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