Market Wrap: Stocks End Stronger After Volatile Session

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Financial Markets Wall Street
Seth Wenig/AP
By Noel Randewich

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks ended higher after a choppy session Tuesday, as a rebound in U.S. oil prices helped offset concerns about a slowdown in China and the Greek debt crisis.

The S&P energy index reversed course to trade up 0.9 percent as U.S. crude oil rose 0.7 percent after trading as much as 3.7 percent lower earlier in the day.

Oil markets have been keeping a close eye on negotiations between Iran and six major powers over a nuclear deal. A source close to the talks said there must be an agreement soon if there is to be an accord to end sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's atomic program.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-Energy stocks bounced, and when that happened it helped the indices move higher.%"The decline in oil ended," said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management in San Francisco. "Energy stocks bounced, and when that happened it helped the indices move higher."

Concerns about China's economy and its sliding stock market have weighed recently on an already ravaged global commodity sector, with prices of copper, coal, natural gas and iron ore falling towards their 2015 lows.

Eurozone leaders held an emergency meeting Tuesday in Brussels and could hold another summit Sunday to approve a plan to aid Greece if creditor institutions are satisfied with a Greek loan application and reform plan, two senior EU sources said.

Greece is expected to submit a formal request for a medium-term assistance program from the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund within hours and eurozone finance ministers have said they will hold a conference call Wednesday morning to consider that request.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 93.33 points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 17,776.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) gained 12.58 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,081.34 after briefly falling below its 200-day moving average. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 5.52 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,997.46.

Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors finished higher. The utilities index jumped 2.48 percent while the materials index was down 0.3 percent.

Rate Rise on Hold?

Some investors believe the storm clouds over Greece and China may give the Federal Reserve reason to hold off raising U.S. interest rates, or at least slow the pace of their rise.

"The U.S. economy should benefit from lower interest rates and lower oil prices that are a result of a slower China and the Greek crisis," said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer at Voya Investment Management.

A warning from chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) about weak demand for personal computers pushed its shares 15.4 percent lower and hurt peers such as Nvidia (NVDA) and Intel (INTC).

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,837 to 1,248, for a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,636 issues fell and 1,150 advanced for a 1.42-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 index posted 14 new 52-week highs and 48 new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 46 new highs and 166 new lows.

About 8.6 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, well above the average of 6.9 billion in the past five sessions.

-Tanya Agrawal contributed reporting.

What to watch Wednesday:
  • The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its June interest-rate meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
  • The Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for May at 3 p.m.
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