Stocks closed Tuesday with solid gains after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was largely credited with a win at the first debate.
The S&P 500 was up 0.64%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.74%, and the Nasdaq added 0.92%.
Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and 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. A Clinton presidency appears to hold less uncertainty among investors than a Trump win.
"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 2.2%. 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.
The tech and consumer sectors were the best performers on Tuesday. Major tech names including Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report , Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report , Facebook (FB) - Get Report , and Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report moved higher, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report rose 1.1%.
In the non-discretionary consumer space, Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report , Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report , Unilever (UL) - Get Report and Mondelez (MDLZ) - Get Report climbed, while the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) - Get Report increased 0.6%.
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 3.05% to $44.53 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.
American Express (AXP) - Get Report led the Dow 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.
Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report had a choppy day 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.