U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday, helped by some stabilization in oil prices and recovery in hard-hit areas of the market this year. ( Tweet This )
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up about 166 points after earlier gaining nearly 200 points in afternoon trade. Contributing most to gains, Caterpillar closed up about 4.86 percent for its best day since October 5. The stock is one of the worst performers in the Dow year-to-date, down more than 20 percent.
The Dow transports closed up about 1.5 percent as Ryder System led nearly all constituents higher.
The S&P 500 closed up nearly 0.9 percent, off session highs of a more than 1 percent rise, with consumer staples, energy, industrials and materials gaining more than 1 percent to lead all 10 sectors higher. Energy is the worst performer in the S&P year-to-date, off more than 20 percent.
The Nasdaq composite closed above the psychologically key 5,000 level for the first time since last Thursday. The index underperformed the other major averages as Apple ended a touch lower and slight declines in Amazon.com and Express Scripts weighed.
Stocks came well off their highs late in the session after New York media reported of a possibility the city had received a credible safety threat. Details on the nature of the threat were not immediately clear, and there was no evidence of an imminent risk to the city.
"You had a market on close sell program of about $400 million and WPIX has reported a credible terrorist threat for New York City," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS.. He added there were no specifics. "But it's got them nervous."
The New York Police Department said there is no new specific threat to New York City.