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U.S. stocks soar amid energy-fueled rally, with Fed meeting in focus

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Shutterstock photo - -- U.S. stocks surged on Tuesday extending gains from the previous session, as an energy-fueled rally provided a boost to all three major indices. In Tuesday's session, crude futures jumped as much as 3% to bounce off multi-year lows, providing a temporary reprieve from a massive downturn in oil prices throughout 2015.

Market players also braced for a likely interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday following the completion of the U.S. central bank's highly anticipated two-day meeting in Washington. The Federal Open Market Committee has stubbornly held rates at near-zero levels for every meeting dating back to December, 2008, months after the start of the Financial Crisis.

A rate hike is largely viewed as bearish for equities, as traders depart from their positions and pile into fixed income investments in an effort to take advantage of higher yields.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 156.41 or 0.90% to 17,524.91, while the NASDAQ Composite index added 43.13 or 0.87% to 4,995.36, as U.S. stocks enjoyed one of their strongest two-day rallies since October. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, rose 21.47 or 1.06% to 4,995.36, as all 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Energy, Health Care and Consumer Goods industries led, each gaining more than 1% on the session.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (N:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (N:CVX) each closed Tuesday's session as the top performers on the Dow, following the rebound in crude prices. Shares in ExxonMobil gained 3.33 or 4.38% to 79.36, while Chevron shares added 3.37 or 3.77% to close at 92.70. During a treacherous year for energy stocks, both major companies have fallen by nearly 14%. The worst performer was MMM, which lost 9.38 or 5.95% to 148.25, after the Minnesota-based manufacturing company lowered its full-year earnings and sales guidance on Tuesday.

The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was VimpelCom (O:VIP), which added 0.25 or 8.06% to 3.29. For the year as a whole, shares in the Russian telecom giant are still down by more than 14%. The worst performer was Apple Inc (O:AAPL), which fell 1.69 or 1.50% to 110.79 after a report from Credit Suisse (VX:CSGN) sparked concerns of a "subdued iPhone cycle" for the next several quarters. It came one day after Morgan Stanley (N:MS) analysts said they expect iPhone sales to fall by about 3% in 2016, amid weak supply chain data.

The top performer on the S&P 500 was Ensco, which surged 1.23 or 8.10% to 16.42. Shares in the offshore Oil & Gas drilling company are still down by roughly 45% this year. 3M also closed as the worst performer on the S&P 500, just below Chesapeake Energy Corporation (N:CHK), which fell 0.24 or 6.00% to 3.76.

On the New York Stock Exchange, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 2,434 to 693 margin. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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