This story was updated at 4:17 p.m. EST.
Global stocks jumped Tuesday in the wake of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data and amid gains in oil prices that lifted energy and mining stocks. U.S. markets got a boost from firm banking and healthcare earnings reports.
But the rally is likely to be short-lived in the midst of a larger sell-off that has shaved 8 percent off the S&P 500 index since the start of the year. Continuing concern over China’s economy, which is growing at the slowest pace since 1990, and its effect on global commodities prices have shaken global markets.
“We had a rally in China, Europe followed suit, and now we’re following suit. Oil prices picked up a little, but this is a brief rally,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, said. “Investors are glued to movements in oil. If prices were to firm up, the thinking would be that China and the global economy were stabilizing.”
After a morning rally, U.S. shares were mixed by the closing bell on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI ) gained 27.94 points, or 0.17 percent. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX ) gained 1 point, or 0.05 percent. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 11.47 points, or 0.26 percent.
Meanwhile, a monthly survey of homebuilder sentiment held steady in January but was down from a recent peak touched in October. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for the month stood at 60, down from 65 three months earlier. Readings above 50 indicate growth. Current homes sales conditions rode two points to 67, while homebuyer traffic dropped two points to 44.
Five of the 10 S&P 500 sectors closed up Tuesday, with the biggest gains in consumer staples and utilities. Energy and materials led declines. Leading the 30 Dow components Tuesday morning was UnitedHealth Group Inc. ( NYSE:UNH) after health insurer posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. Chemicals giant DuPont ( NYSE:DD) led Dow declines early in the day. Chevron Corporation ( NYSE:CVX) led Dow declines by the closing bell.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury gained 0.1 percent Tuesday afternoon to 2.04 percent. The bond yield typically rises during market rallies. Gold, another so-called safe harbor investment, edged down 0.35 percent to $1,087 per ounce. Gold prices tend to fall when stocks rise.
Major Asian markets closed down Friday; the broad CSI 300 Index gained 2.95 percent, while China’s mainland Shanghai Composite Index advanced 3.22 percent. The Shenzhen Composite jumped 3.61 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.1 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5 percent.
European shares closed up on Tuesday with the broad Stoxx 600 index gaining 1.2 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 rose 2 percent while London’s FTSE gained 1.7 percent and Frankfurt’s DAX was up 1.5 percent.
After dropping to 2003 levels last week, the two major oil-price benchmarks closed mixed Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil lost 3.4 percent to $28.42 per barrel for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the global benchmark, advanced 1.1 percent to $28.86 for March delivery on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) shares closed down Tuesday after the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank reported higher than expected fourth quarter profit. Bank stocks are under pressure over concern low oil prices will cause energy companies to default on loans.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) closed up Tuesday after the New York investment bank reported higher than expected revenue and profit and outlined an additional $1 billion in annual cost cuts.
Best Buy Co Inc. (NYSE:BBY) shares dropped Tuesday after Morgan Stanley downgraded stock in the world’s largest brick-and-mortar electronics retailer.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shared leaped ahead of the video-streaming giant’s fourth quarter earnings due out after markets close on Tuesday. But the shares were down in after-hours trading after the earnings report was released.