Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, regaining their footing a day after suffering their worst loss in months amid the worsening pandemic and potentially market-moving Senate elections. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, recovering about half of the index's losses from a day earlier. The majority of big stocks in the S&P 500 notched gains, with oil producers leading the way as crude prices strengthened. Stocks of smaller companies did even better than the broader market, driving the Russell 2000 index of small-caps to a market-leading 1.7% gain. The S&P 500 rose 26.21 points to 3,726.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 167.71 points, or 0.6%, to 30,391.60. The Nasdaq composite picked up 120.51 points, or 1%, to 12,818.96.
The market’s moves were tenuous early on, though. At one point, the S&P 500 gave up all of an early-morning rise and was down 0.2% even after a report showed US manufacturing grew last month at its strongest rate since 2018. "While we probably will end up having a pullback sometime in the near future, the bull is not ready to wind down just yet," Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, tells the AP. Wall Street's uneven start to the year comes as investors remain optimistic that the economy will recover this year as more Americans receive coronavirus vaccinations. But optimism is being kept in check as new infections climb at frightening rates around the world, threatening to bring more lockdown orders that would punish the economy.
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