Stocks extend rally despite coronavirus risks.
The U.S. stock market finished mostly higher on Tuesday, as investors continued to look past a worsening coronavirus epidemic that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Two of three major U.S. stock indices finished higher. The large-cap S&P 500 Index (SPY) rose 0.2% to 3,357.77 after briefly hitting new all-time highs.
Eight of 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, with materials and consumer discretionary stocks leading the pack. Energy, financials and industrials also outperformed.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) rose 0.1% to 9,638.94. Like the S&P 500, the Nasdaq was also trading at record territory earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) pared gains to finish flat at 29,276.34.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) traded lower for most of the session before paring losses before the close. The so-called ‘investor fear index’ bottomed at 14.38 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would eventually settle at 15.06, where it was virtually unchanged.
In commodities, oil prices recovered on Tuesday as Russia and OPEC continued to deliberate new production quotas. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark rose 38 cents, or 0.8%, to $49.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, gained 82 cents, or 1.5%, to $54.09 a barrel.
Precious metals were down across the board as risk sentiment improved. April gold futures fell $7.50, or 0.5%, to $1,572.00 a troy ounce. Silver futures were down 16 cents, or 0.9%, to $17.62 a troy ounce in New York trading.
The Final Word: The coronavirus epidemic has claimed over 1,000 lives. More than 43,000 people have been infected across 27 countries, according to the latest figures.