Oil, as well as global equities, have been under pressure amid global growth concerns. China's weak manufacturing data to begin the year sent stocks into flux, as investors trimmed risky positions. On Tuesday, however, the Chinese government reported economic data that were largely in line with expectations.
Investors in the U.S. saw the data as favorable, sending the three major indexes up more than 1 percent at session highs.
Nonetheless, U.S. equities failed to hold on to gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up slightly in late trading after gaining 183.88 points at its highs.
"I think what we're dealing with here is that for 25 years we've been growing the economy and structuring the economy around one big engine of growth, and that is Chinese economic growth," Jeff Rosenberg, chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock, told "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday.
"That pattern is changing. Today's data is validation of what we've all known, which is the economy and structure in China is transitioning. The bigger issue for the markets in 2016 is whether or not financial markets are fully pricing in the consequences of that transition. The collapse in oil prices is a reflection of that transition."