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Dow, S&P close at record high as Brexit fears ease; energy jumps 2 pct

U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday as fears eased over Brexit and Japan signaled more economic stimulus.

"I think the things that people were worried about, ... sort of faded into the background," said Greg Zappin, managing director and portfolio manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management. "You have a lot of things conspiring to make this a very benign investing environment.

The S&P 500 moved higher in record territory and the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a new all-time high.

The blue-chips index reached the milestone on the heels of the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high Monday. On Tuesday, the Dow closed about 120 points higher, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains.

The S&P 500 closed 0.7 percent higher, led by a more than 2 percent rise in energy. U.S. crude settled 4.56 percent higher, at $46.80 a barrel, after falling more than 1 percent Monday.

"I think people are getting more comfortable within the growth area of the market," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. "I definitely see more of a risk-on mentality. People are foregoing the yield plays for the growth parts of the market."

The Nasdaq also rose about 0.7 percent to close in positive territory for 2016.

"I think the fears of Brexit have subsided, but I think that's premature," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "I'm glad the U.K. has gotten a new leader, ... but I don't think this will go away."

Interior Minister Theresa May is set to become the U.K.'s prime minister on Wednesday. Stock markets across the globe have risen sharply, after a steep sell-off, following the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union.

"In the past two weeks, post Brexit, the S&P 500 has vaulted over 8 percent," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at Sarhan Capital. "Typically, a 10 percent move for the entire year is considered normal."

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered new stimulus after his coalition won an election in Japan's upper chamber by a landslide. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose nearly 2.5 percent overnight, while the yen erased all of its post-Brexit gains against the dollar.

"In the short term, I think it's going to help, but in the long term, we'll see," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. "I feel like a lot of people are getting themselves into situations that they can't get out of."

"Japan sent a powerful message to the market," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "So, the rally continues."

Stocks rallied Monday, with the Nasdaq and the Dow posting its best closes of the year.

Scheduled speeches by several Federal Reserve officials were also on investors' radar.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said in prepared remarks Tuesday he still believe one rate increase will be needed for the foreseeable future. Bullard, a voting member of the U.S. central bank's rate-setting committee, recently shifted his view of monetary policy, concluding that the U.S. had entered a persistent period of low growth, low inflation, and low unemployment.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are scheduled to speak after the market closes.

Ahead of the open, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said that better regulation on short-term funding is needed, adding that the U.S.' post-crisis work is not completed with out such regulations.

"In any case, it will be the speeches of the Dallas Fed's Robert Kaplan (on Wednesday and Thursday), the Atlanta Fed's Dennis Lockhart (on Thursday), and the San Francisco Fed's John Williams (on Friday) that will be the most notable, because they are the centrists on the panel, and likely to thus reflect where the center is moving," Macquarie analysts said in a Tuesday note to clients.

On the data front, wholesale inventories data for May showed a 0.1 percent gain, in line with expectations. Meanwhile, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report for May showed openings were down to 5.5 million, from 5.79 million in April.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year yield trading around 1.52 percent and the two-year note yield holding near 0.68 percent. Ten-year yields recently hit an all-time low. On Tuesday, a 10-year notes auction saw its weakest demand since 2009.

The dollar traded about 0.1 percent lower against a basket of currencies, with the euro trading near $1.106 and the British pound near $1.33.

Investors also digested Alcoa quarterly results, which marked the unofficial start to the earnings season, as the former Dow component beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines Monday after the close.

On Thursday, financial giants JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock are scheduled to post results before the bell, along with Delta Air Lines.

European stocks traded higher, as the pan-European Stoxx 600 index gained about 1 percent. Asian equities also rose broadly.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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The Dow Jones industrial average closed 120.74 points higher, or 0.66 percent, at 18,347.67, with Goldman Sachs leading advancers and Wal-Mart the greatest laggard.

The S&P 500 rose 14.98 points, or 0.70 percent, to close at 2,152.14, with energy leading seven sectors higher and utilities lagging.

The Nasdaq rose 34.18 points, or 0.69 percent, to end at 5,022.82.

About three stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange with an exchange volume of 966 million and a composite volume of 4.030 billion at the close.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded higher, near 13.6.

Gold futures for August delivery settled $21.30 lower, at $1,335.30 per ounce.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

On tap this week:

*Planner subject to change.

Tuesday

Earnings: Adtran

6:30 p.m. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari

9:30 p.m. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester on financial stability

Wednesday

Earnings: CSX, Yum Brands

8:30 a.m. Import prices

9 a.m. Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan on economy

1 p.m. 30-year bond auction

2 p.m. Federal budget; Beige book

6 p.m. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on economy

10:30 p.m. Cleveland Fed's Mester on economy

Thursday

Earnings: JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, Delta Air Lines, Taiwan Semiconductor, Progressive, First Republic Bank

8:30 a.m. Initial claims; PPI

10 a.m. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

11:15 a.m. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart

1:15 p.m. Kansas City Fed's George on economy

7 p.m. Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan on economy and policy

Friday

Earnings: Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, PNC, Shaw Communications

8:30 a.m. Retail sales, CPI, Empire State survey

9:15 a.m. Industrial production

10 a.m. Consumer sentiment; Business inventories

1:15 p.m. Minneapolis Fed's Kashkari and St. Louis Fed's Bullard in discussion