U.S. stocks rebounded on Tuesday, following the prior day's losses, boosted by better-than-expected construction spending in October, along with strong auto sales last month from Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group and General Motors Company.
U.S. construction spending posted its biggest gain in five months, the Commerce Department said in its monthly report Tuesday. October construction spending rose 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted $970,989 billion annual rate, topping Wall Street expectations. Economists had forecast U.S. construction spending to rise 0.6 percent in October, versus a decline of 0.4 percent the month earlier, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
Oil prices retreated from the prior day’s gains after Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil prices, declined 0.98 percent to $71.83 early Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, fell 1.46 percent to $67.99. "Crude seems to have stabilized overnight, unable to push any higher than what we saw during Monday's dramatic rebound, and holding on to most the day's gains. This day is still young, and a lot can change over the next few hours," Stephen Guilfoyle, chief market economist at Sarge986.com, said in a note.
Ahead on the economic calendar, monthly auto sales are scheduled for release throughout the morning, following favorable results earlier on Tuesday from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Ford Motor Company announced U.S. sales totaled 187,000 vehicles last month, down 2 percent from a year earlier; however, the overall sales decline was anticipated and shares edged up 0.32 percent to $15.81 in early trading.
The auto giant beat Street forecasts and reported record sales for its Escape, Explorer and Mustang Models. The company said its Ford Escape model recorded its best November sales ever, up 22 percent from last year to sales of 25,528 vehicles, while its Ford Explorer sold 14,949 vehicles, representing the model's best November results since 2004. Mustang sales of 8,728 vehicles showed its strongest November sales since 2006.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which measures 30 large industrial stocks, gained 63.19 points, or 0.36 percent, at 17,839.99; the S&P 500 Index added 8.27 points, or 0.40 percent, at 2,061.71. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 21.45 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,748.79.