Controversial nutritional supplements company Herbalife also announced better-than-expected earnings and sales figures Tuesday afternoon. But shares fell Wednesday after Herbalife executives did not entertain many questions on a conference call with analysts. Herbalife has been in the spotlights since well-known hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused the company late last year of operating a pyramid scheme.
European markets ended mixed. London's FTSE edged higher, while the DAX in Germany and CAC in France fell. Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.6%, the Hang Seng added 0.7% and Japan's Nikkei gained 0.8%.
Gas prices rose for the 34th day in a row, fueling concerns about whether higher prices at the pump will take a bite out of consumer spending in February. Nationwide, a gallon of unleaded gasoline averaged $3.766 Wednesday, according to AAA. Gas prices have risen 34 cents, or 10%, since the beginning of February.
The price on the 10-year Treasury stayed steady with its yield at 2.03%.
The U.S. dollar fell against the euro but gained against the British pound and the Japanese yen.