Stocks closed modestly higher Tuesday as traders shrugged off some economic data that came in below expectations and a continued inverted yield curve that could signal a recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7% each. The energy sector led the market higher as shares of energy companies surged as West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery eclipsed the $60 per barrel mark in late trading.
Energy shares in the S&P 500 gained 1.5% while financial stocks rose 1%.
In economic news, US housing starts came in at a 1.162 million rate, below estimates for 1.201 million for February, following the previous month's 1.230 million level, while permits came in at 1.296 million, compared with the consensus estimate of 1.3 million for the month following the 1.317 million in the previous month, according to Econoday.
Elsewhere in housing, the Case-Shiller 20-city adjusted index posted a 0.1% rise, lower than the 0.3% gain expected in January, while the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index rose 0.6% in January following a 0.3% gain in the previous month, which was above expectations, according to Econoday.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index for March was 124.1, below the 133 consensus according to Econoday.
The 3-month Treasury bill yield was 2.468% late Tuesday while the 10-year note's yield was 2.414%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 140.90 points (+0.55%)
S&P 500 was up 20.10 points (+0.72%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 53.98 points (+0.71%)
FTSE 100 was up 18.71 points (+0.26%) to 7,196.29
Hang Seng Index was up 43.56 points (+0.15%) to 28,566.91
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 45.94 points (-1.51%) to 2,997.10
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