Stocks rose on Tuesday, reversing earlier declines sparked by a disappointing consumer confidence report as investors continued to see value in beaten-down prices.
Wall Street bounced between positive and negative territory throughout the day as thin trading and few sentiment drivers made it difficult for traders to stick with one direction.
The market has suffered through a long bout of selling for the better part of August, though the S&P has risen for the past two session. The index has fallen nearly 18 percent from its 2011 high in April to a recent low on August 8.
Equities fell as much as 1 percent in the morning after the Conference Board reported U.S. consumer confidence crumbled in August to its lowest level in more than two years due in part to fallout from political wrangling over a budget deal.
Obviously markets took a hit on the (data), but we've shaken it off. It looks like we're having some follow-through to yesterday's move, which is an indication things have gotten overdone in the past month, said John Derrick, director of research with U.S. Global Investors in San Antonio. People are reassessing and seeing some value.
The U.S. Federal Reserve considered bold action to help a struggling economy at its August meeting, including the unprecedented step of tying the interest rate policy outlook to a specific unemployment level, according to minutes from the latest Fed meeting. Equities barely moved the minutes were released.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 22.89 points, or 0.20 percent, at 11,562.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 2.27 points, or 0.19 percent, at 1,212.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 14.70 points, or 0.57 percent, at 2,576.81.
If the S&P ends positive, it will be the sixth advance in the last seven sessions. Over that time, the index has risen more than 7 percent, and technical analysts pointed to Monday's close above 1,200 as a sign bulls may be regaining their footing.
In other data, U.S. single-family home prices fell slightly in June as the market crawled along at depressed levels.
Dow component Exxon Mobil Corp
Dollar General Corp's
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)