NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 retreated from session highs Tuesday afternoon as an earlier rebound in oil prices quickly ran out of steam.
Big swings in stock prices saw the S&P 500 up 0.36% by early afternoon after a late-morning surge. The Dow climbed 0.48% and the Nasdaq slid 0.08%. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index spiked 2.5%.
Crude oil prices were edging lower with West Texas Intermediate down 0.66% to $55.54 in a volatile trading session which saw the commodity fall more than 3% earlier in the day. Prices skidded on Monday after key OPEC members recommitted to leaving production levels unchanged despite global oversupply.
"If you look at a technical chart, the long-term price chart of crude oil, the low-$50s (roughly that $53-$55 range) coincides with long-term support," said LPL Financial investment strategist Anthony Valeri over the phone. "It could just be a technical bounce but it's something the markets are getting excited about."
Energy shares rallied as oil prices leveled. Talisman Energy (TLM) was the best performer, rocketing 48% higher after its board confirmed and recommended Repsol's (REPYY) plans to purchase it for $8.3 billion, or $8 a share.
Large-cap oil giants Exxon Mobil (XOM) , Chevron (CVX) and BP (BP) also surged, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) spiked 2%. Mid-cap oil-drilling companies were also gaining. Transocean (RIG) added 4.1%, Denbury Resources (DNR) climbed 8.2% and Nabors Industries (NBR) moved 4.9% higher.