NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks jumped more than 1 percent Tuesday, led by energy shares as oil prices extended their recent rally, while higher-than-expected January car sales also bolstered the advance.
Merger activity also helped, with shares of Office Depot (ODP) jumping 21.6 percent to $9.28 after The Wall Street Journal reported the retailer was in advanced talks to merge with Staples Inc. Staples (SPLS) shares gained 10.9 percent to $19.01.
The S&P 500 has gained 2.8 percent over two sessions as the bounceback in oil prices and hopes of a Greek debt deal eased some concerns about the global economy, but the index has been locked in a trading range of 1,972 to 2,093 since mid-December and is nearly flat since Dec. 31.
The year so far has been marked by volatility, with the S&P 500's daily trading range often more than double its average over the past year.
U.S. crude oil prices rose 7 percent to settle at $53.05 . Brent and U.S. oil prices have risen roughly 19 percent since Wednesday's close. The S&P 500 energy index climbed 2.8 percent.
Shares of Dow components Exxon Mobil (XOM) were up 3 percent at $92.25 and Chevron (CVX) added 3.3 percent at $109.53. Machinery-maker Caterpillar (CAT) rose 3.8 percent to $83.92, among the Dow's biggest boosters.
"You've had some of those who had been extremely bearish start to take off their bearish bets when it felt like you may have gotten to a short-term bottom in oil," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
"Some of the trader pressure on the commodity itself has abated somewhat. With that, you've had more of an equity risk-on mentality."
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 305.36 points, or 1.76 percent, to 17,666.4, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) gained 29.18 points, or 1.44 percent, to 2,050.03 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 51.05 points, or 1.09 percent, to 4,727.74.
Car-Buyers Out in Force
January car sales topped expectations, buoyed by low gas prices and easy credit. Ford Motor (F) gained 2.5 percent to $15.65, General Motors (GM) rose 2.6 percent to $33.98 and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) climbed 3.3 percent to $13.95.
After the bell, shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) fell 5.9 percent to $684 while shares of Walt Disney (DIS) rose 3.1 percent to $96.97, both following results.
Even as S&P 500 profit growth estimates for the fourth quarter have risen as more companies report, expectations for first-quarter results have tumbled. First-quarter earnings are now expected to fall 1.2 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.
About 8.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 7.7 billion average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.
NYSE advancers outnumbered decliners 2,478 to 615, a 4.03-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,029 issues rose and 753 fell, a 2.69-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 65 new highs and 34 new lows.
What to watch Wednesday:
Payroll-processor ADP releases its survey of private-sector hiring for January at 8:15 a.m. Eastern time.
The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for January at 10 a.m.
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
Market Wrap: Stocks Post 2nd Day of Big Gains, Energy Leads
Children watch what you do, and they learn by example. Without getting into too much detail, show them how you handle your money so they can see the way it should be done. When you plan the family vacation, share with them how you're deciding where to go based on what you can afford. When it's time to go school clothes shopping, explain how you can buy them one just really expensive pair of sneakers or the cheaper pair plus other stuff like that cool new backpack.
We live in a world where we expect things can make us happy. Help your kids understand that experiences -- seeing the world, exploring and learning, spending time with loved ones -- are so much more important than any stuff could be. Nurture their creativity. Feed their curiosity. Make their lives rich with experience, and they'll learn to be content no matter how much money they have.
You don't need to break the bank to have a good time. Help your kids understand that a frugal life doesn't have to be a boring life by choosing entertainment options that are high in fun but low in cost. It costs nothing to walk through a local park and plan a nature treasure hunt. It costs nothing to give your kids a trunk full of your old clothes and makeup and let them play dress-up. It costs nothing to set up a tent in the backyard and let them "camp out" for the night. Focus on fun that's creative, interactive, and physical. Your kids will learn you don't need to spend a ton of money to have a good time.
Making your kids work, in exchange for money, helps them understand that money "doesn't grow on trees" and that Mom and Dad aren't their personal ATM. Budgeting their allowance also teaches the importance of good stewardship of their money; when they know they've only got so many dollars for the week, they're more likely to think twice about whether that candy bar or comic book is really worth purchasing. They also learn to make tradeoffs: they can afford either the comic book or the candy bar, but not both.
When you give your kids their allowance each week, help them divide it into three jars: One for spending money, which they can use right now on anything they want, one for savings, which means putting it aside for things they'll want in the future, and one for giving to a cause of their choice, like animals, the environment, or childhood cancer. Help your children develop the habit of saving for a goal, such as a big toy, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese or a new video game. This will help them learn delayed gratification and the importance of putting money aside.
Frugality isn't about saying "no" all the time; it's about making the most of the money you've got. Help your kids understand this by turning it into a fun game. When you go grocery shopping, challenge them to find the cereal that's the least expensive. When it's time to plan their birthday party, tell them you're willing to spend so many dollars and work with them to plan a fun bash within that budget.
Kids love helping out with grownup tasks. If you're fixing the pipes under the sink, ask your child to hand you tools and explain what you're doing as you work. If you're washing the car, let them lend a hand. If you're planting a veggie garden, ask them to pull weeds or water the plants. Use these moments to teach them the value of fixing things yourself and putting in a little elbow grease. And if your child is extra-helpful, give them a bonus –- and help them put that money into the savings jar.
Reduce, reuse and recycle. We live in a throwaway society where we're always looking for the newest gadget and tossing things in the trash the instant they show a sign of wear. Teach your kids the value of making things last and reducing waste by doing things like mending clothes when they rip and turning old milk cartons and egg containers into arts and crafts.
Help your kids to understand the gimmicks and false promises advertisers use to try to entice you into buying their products. Once they understand how advertising ropes us in, they'll be less susceptible to ads and marketing.
Every kid has said, at one point or another, that they "really need" something because all their friends have it, or they saw it on TV, or any number of other reasons. Gently correct your child when they use this language and explain the difference between something you really, truly need and something you merely want. Help them to understand that money should first be spent on needs, and that you can't expect to get everything that you want.