NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tuesday traders shook free of the lethargy that has characterized stock sessions over the past week as a cocktail of buzzwords (oil, the eurozone, U.S. data, more oil!) fueled markets to new closing highs.
Three cheers for the S&P 500 which closed the session at an all-time high for a fifth-consecutive session, knocking its last record off the podium by a wide 12-point margin.
Commodity prices were causing waves again, dropping below $75 a barrel again, on doubts the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would cut production in the face of a global supply glut. The participating countries, which account for around 40% of global oil production, will meet in Vienna on Nov. 27 to discuss ways in which to stabilize cratering prices.
On Tuesday alone, West Texas Intermediate crude crumbled 1.5% to $74.51 a barrel.
But, in a televised address on Monday evening, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said OPEC and non-OPEC countries were currently planning an additional gathering even earlier.
For energy stocks, talks can't come soon enough. Crude oil prices have plunged 30% since summer, leading some of the world's largest oil suppliers to lose value. Since July, Exxon Mobil (XOM) has dropped nearly 6%, Chevron (CVX) has tanked 11%, and France-based Total SA (TOT) has plummeted almost 20%.
On the plus side, though supply has undercut prices, commodity demand remains resilient. "If you look at country-by-country, region-by-region basis, in fact the U.S. has done pretty well. The demand is up 1%," Natixis oil markets analyst Abhishek Deshpande told CNBC. "In Europe, negative growth has actually been less than what we were expecting. Instead of dropping by 2%, they've actually dropped by less than 1%."
Meanwhile, the rest of the economy is cheering the savings at the gas pump. Economists hope the falling prices in gasoline will translate to higher consumer spending in other areas of the economy. "With gas prices dropping downward, you really start to see some discretionary income coming [back]," Hennessy Funds' Brian Peery told TheStreet.
A global markets rally also helped to kick off the S&P's surge on Tuesday, led by Japan's Nikkei which spiked more than 2% after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delayed an unpopular sales tax increase to 2017. Earlier in the week, Japan dipped into recession, cueing freakouts that the world's third-largest economy was going the way of the eurozone.
Speaking of the eurozone, the region celebrated a return of German confidence in the latest ZEW survey which showed an increase for the first time this year. Germany's DAX surged 1.6% as Europe's largest economy suggested signs of a bounceback. Investors have been jittery about the eurozone's prospects after growth forecasts were slashed by the European Commission earlier this month on deflation concerns and high unemployment.
The U.S. proved again that it was ahead of the curve in its recovery, as homebuilder confidence hit a nine-year high. The NAB housing market index for November spiked to a reading of 58, above economists' estimates for a reading of 55, and marking the fifth consecutive month above 50. October producer prices increased 0.2%, compared to an estimated 0.1% decline.
The health care sector was leading gainers with rallies in Allergan (AGN) , Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Medtronic (MDT) . Allergan and Actavis (ACT) kicked off positive sentiment in the industry after announcing a $66 billion acquisition deal on Monday, contributing to a total $3 trillion in global deals made this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. M&A activity has jumped 50% from a year earlier and is up 65% among U.S. companies.
Earnings were the weak spot of a good-news day. Retailers Urban Outfitters (URBN) , Home Depot (HD) , and TJX (TJX) fell after reporting their recent quarters. So far this earnings season, nearly 74% of those that have reported have beat earnings estimates. Thirty-three S&P 500 companies have yet to report this season, the majority of which are retailers including Staples (SPLS) , Lowe's (LOW) and Target (TGT) .
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.