The S&P 500 gained 25.09 points to 3,080.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 267.63 points, or 1.1%, to 25,742.65. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, added 56.33 points, or 0.6%, to 9,608.37. The index had been down 0.8% in the early going.
Smaller company stocks had some of the biggest gains. The Russell 2000 index picked up 12.84 points, or 0.9%, to 1,418.21.
NASA astronauts launched into space by SpaceX on Saturday rang the opening bell from the International Space Station early Tuesday to kick off trading on the Nasdaq.
Stocks have now recouped most of their losses after the initial economic fallout from the coronavirus knocked the market into a staggering 34% skid in February and March. The S&P 500 is now down 9% from its all-time high in February.
Investors are hoping that the worst of the recession has already passed, or will soon, as governments around the country and around the world slowly lift the restrictions that left broad swaths of the U.S. economy at a standstill beginning in March.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 jumped 2% Tuesday as the country opened restaurants, cafes, parks and beaches and launched a contract tracing app to help keep tabs on new contagions. Germany’s DAX, which had been closed Monday, caught up with previous global markets’ gains and surged 3.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.9%. Markets in Asia closed broadly higher.
While more countries and sectors are reopening, economic activity is expected to remain subdued as social distancing rules complicate plans to get back to business. Meanwhile, investors continue to keep an eye out for any signs that the reopening of the economy is leading to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Tokyo had 34 new confirmed cases Tuesday. The daily numbers had dropped below 20 recently.
Even so, Wall Street is betting that the U.S. government and others will not move to close the economy again even if there is a pickup in new cases.
“There’s just a lack of appetite for a potential re-shutdown in the event that the virus accelerates from here,” Hainlin said.
Bond yields were mostly higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.68% from 0.66% late Monday.
Oil prices rose. Benchmark U.S. crude oil for July delivery rose $1.37 to settle at $36.81 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude oil for August delivery rose $1.25 to $39.57 a barrel.