Stocks moved higher in a relief rally Tuesday following the the first of three presidential debates on Monday.
The S&P 500 was up 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.24%, and the Nasdaq added 0.4%.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton duked it out at Hofstra University in Hampstead, N.Y., for the first of three debates before voters head to the polls on Nov. 8. The debate grew highly contentious over issues of jobs growth, national security and even birtherism but media and Twitter reaction suggested Clinton came out on top.
"What we're seeing in markets this morning is a small, collective sigh of relief because most commentators, and the few polls that have been released, suggest that Clinton won the debate," said James Athey, investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.
"The reality is that these moves are all fairly insignificant... For now, we expect markets to remain choppy and directionless as sentiment ebbs and flows in the current vacuum of meaningful new economic and monetary policy information," Athey noted.
Worries over which regulations and economic policies the two candidates might push at the debate led to a market selloff on Monday. The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq accelerated losses throughout the day before closing nearly 1% in the red.
Technical analyst Helene Meisler of Real Money(TheStreet's premium site for active traders) wrote that while "it would not surprise me to see the market rally Tuesday ... until we get some real panic and not just less complacency, we are likely to be in a 'chopfest.' [We] will be unable to make progress on the upside." Click here to read Meisler's full column.
The currency markets bounced on Tuesday as worries over U.S. trade deals faded after Clinton's debate win. Mexico's peso jumped 1.7% on Monday morning, coming back from gains as high as 2.3% earlier in the session. The peso had recently slumped to an all-time low as fears over a Trump presidency rattled the country's exports market. The U.S.'s other border, Canada, had a more stable currency reaction with the Canadian dollar trading flat.
Crude oil prices fell back from a massive rally a day earlier as skepticism grew over whether oil producers can agree upon a production freeze. At the three-day International Energy Forum in Alergia, Iran committed to pumping even more oil as it gears back up after sanctions were lifted last year. Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih also noted that discussions at the meeting were merely "consultative." Hopes were high that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could come to an agreement on the sidelines of the forum.
Goldman Sachs added to commodity traders' worries on Tuesday after slashing its oil forecast for the next few months. Analysts now expect crude oil to sit at $43 a barrel for the rest of the year, down from a previous forecast of $50 a barrel. The firm said oversupply will continue to outweigh demand even if a freeze agreement comes to pass. Goldman said it expects oil-producing countries such as Russia, Canada and Kazakhstan to boost production, further contributing to a global supply glut.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 2.9% to $44.59 a barrel.
Growth in home prices slowed in July after months of high demand and constrained supply that drove home values higher. House prices in the U.S. increased 0.6% in July, according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Index, driven by gains in the Pacific Northwest. The measure was up 5% from a year ago.
Consumer confidence reached its highest level in nine years in September, according to the Conference Board. The measure ticked up to 104.1 this month, far higher than 98.8 consensus, and higher than 101.8 in August.
The services sector recorded its sharpest increase in five months in September, according to a flash reading from the PMI Services Index. The measure increased to 51.9 this month, up from 50.9.
Volkswagen (VLKAY) fell 2% on reports the U.S. Justice Department is currently debating how large a fine to charge the automaker for gaming emissions-testing software. U.S. officials are currently assessing how high the fine could be without bankrupting the German carmaker, according to Bloomberg. Officials are aiming to settle before a new administration next year.
SeaWorld (SEAS) - Get Report climbed nearly 1% after outlining new attractions set to open next year. The theme-park operator expects to spend $175 million opening new rides and an updated Orca show in San Diego next year. The company has been under fire over its captivity of killer whales and has since said it plans to phase out the practice by ending its breeding program.
Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Report jumped after striking a deal with representatives of its creditors to restructure one of its bankrupt units. The deal ends two years of negotiations and court appearances.
Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report slid 2% after a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer treatment missed its primary endpoint. The myeloma treatment Kyprolis was mixed with other agents but failed to affect progression-free survival. Sean Harper, a R&D exec at the company, said the results were "disappointing."
Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report remained active as rumors swirled over Disney's (DIS) - Get Report interest in a buyout. The world's largest entertainment company is just the latest to reportedly mull an acquisition. Other possible bidders that have been brought up include Salesforce (CRM) - Get Report and Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report .
Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report erased losses after Bloomberg reported a high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official acknowledging that major banks' penalties could be lowered by cooperating with authorities. The bank has reeled from a possible $14 billion fine tied to mortgage-backed securities.
Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report is mulling executive pay clawbacks, according to a Dow Jones report. The bank has faced scrutiny following a scandal involving unethical sales tactics. Wells Fargo agreed to a $185 million settlement with government officials earlier this month. The clawbacks could focus on former retail banking executive Carrie Tolstedt and current CEO John Stumpf.
American Express (AXP) - Get Report climbed 1% after hiking its dividend. The credit-card company increased its quarterly dividend to 32 cents a share from 29 cents, payable November 10 to shareholders of record on October 7. The company also committed to a new repurchase program worth 150 million shares.