U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, the last day of the quarter, in their third-straight day of recovery from the post-Brexit sell-off.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 1.4 percent for the quarter, while the S&P 500 rose 1.9 percent for their third-straight quarter of gains.
The Dow closed about 235 points higher with 3M, IBM and Goldman Sachs the top contributors to gains as all constituents except Visa rose. Consumer staples rose 2.2 percent to lead all 10 S&P 500 sectors higher.
"I think it's a continuation of trying to sort out what Brexit means and what's important to investors," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. "Whether they decide it means nothing, ... were going to have to wait and see."
The major indexes posted three-straight day of plus-1 percent gains for the first time since February.
With recent gains, the Dow had recovered about 80 percent of its post-Brexit losses intraday Thursday.
"The market is breathing a big sigh of relief that Brexit didn't trigger the end of the world," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.
However, traders noted some of the recent recovery in stocks was around quarter-end and month-end flows.
Sterling fell more than 1 percent intraday, back towards 30-year lows touched last week following the Brexit vote, after the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said further stimulus measures may soon be needed for the U.K. given the country's vote to leave the EU.
Pound sterling was last near $1.33, a touch off session lows. The U.S. dollar index traded mildly higher, with the euro near $1.11 and the ye near 103.3 yen versus the greenback.
"For now, the British exit is taking a backseat, but that's going to come back to haunt us," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
The Dow had lost more than 870 points in the two sessions following the U.K.'s shocking vote to leave the European Union, but the blue-chips index completed its best two-day points gain since last August at Wednesday's close.
"It's not surprising to see the markets go down as much as they did after the vote," said Brian Levitt, senior investment strategist at OppenheimerFunds. "The best and worst days are usually grouped together."
Leading gains in consumer staples, shares of Hershey surged 16.8 percent amid talks of a possible takeover bid from Mondelez. However, Hershey's board unanimously rejected Mondelez's offer Thursday afternoon.
"It would take a very good offer" for the board to approve a takeover bid, said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital. "I don't see anybody doing that."