NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average extended modest gains by early afternoon Tuesday as oil rallied after the Energy Information Administration increased its forecast for the average price of crude over 2015.
The S&P 500 was up 0.26%, the Dow gained 0.09%, and the Nasdaq added 0.08%.
The EIA raised 2015 forecasts for West Texas Intermediate crude to an average $55.35 a barrel, above a previous forecast of $54.32. The organization trimmed 2016 forecasts to an average $62.04 a barrel, down from a previous $65.57.
West Texas Intermediate crude rallied Tuesday after several days of losses. The commodity closed 3.4% higher to $60.14 a barrel.
A White House press briefing was temporarily suspended Tuesday afternoon after Secret Service called upon the press to evacuate. Reporters have returned and details are still emerging as to the kind of threat that prompted the evacuation.
U.S. job openings in April rose to 5.38 million, the highest since December 2000 and up from March's 5.11 million, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The latest data is dated given investors already have reviewed May's jobs figures from the Labor Department, though the date still provide additional details as to recent strength in the labor market.
U.S. wholesale inventories increased 0.4% in April, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The reading was double expectations and up from a 0.1% increase in March.
Inflation in China in May increased at a slower-than-expected pace with consumer prices rising 1.2% year over year, short estimates for a 1.3% increase. Producer prices plummeted 4.6% from a year earlier, the 38th straight month of decline.
A day earlier, China reported exports for May fell and imports declined at the sharpest rate in three months. Annual exports slid 2.5% while imports plummeted 17.6%. The latest data rallied calls for increased stimulus from the People's Bank of China.
"The hope among investors is that such data will prompt the government to become even more aggressive in its efforts to stimulate the slowing economy," said Ameriprise Financial's David Joy. "That same thinking has propelled the Shanghai Composite Index to a gain of 59% so far on the year."
U.S. stocks closed in the red on Monday as investors braced for next week's Federal Reserve meeting in the wake of Friday's stellar monthly jobs report. The Fed will kick off its two-day meeting on Tuesday, June 16, and it will conclude mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Click here for more.
Debt talks between Greece and its European creditors were limping along, according to The Guardian. Greece reportedly has submitted a list of reforms to creditors, which an unnamed European Union official calls a "vague rehash of earlier proposals." Greece has until the end of June to secure further debt relief.
"We have scale, and we have leveraged the opportunities where we could benefit from partnerships," said CEO Mary Barra ahead of the company's 2015 shareholder meeting.
Fiat Chrysler shares were on watch on news the company's executives are still keen to merge with GM. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly contacted hedge funds to nudge GM to consider a merger, according to The Wall Street Journal. Click here for more.
McDonald's (MCD) shares were on watch after the company appointed Robert Gibbs as global head of communications. Gibbs had previously worked as press secretary for President Barack Obama.
HSBC (HSBC) plans to cut 50,000 jobs, one leg of an effort to cut costs by as much as $5 billion within two years, according to a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The measure eliminates around 20% of the bank's payroll.
General Electric (GE) has agreed to sell its private-equity lending unit, a group with assets of more than $10 billion, to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Canada's largest pension fund. The deal is valued at around $12 billion. Click here for more.
Lululemon (LULU) rose 8.6% after beating estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The athletic apparel maker earned 34 cents a share in its recent quarter, beating estimates by a penny, while sales climbed 10.1% to $423.5 million.
Apple (AAPL) dominated headlines on Monday afternoon as the company unveiled its streaming music service Apple Music. The company kicked off its five-day Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. Click here for more.
United Natural Foods (UNFI) slid after reporting third-quarter net income of 83 cents a share, up a dime from a year earlier though short analysts' estimates by 2 cents. Revenue rose nearly 19% to $2.11 billion, but missed estimates of $2.14 billion.
Casey's General Stores (CASY) climbed after reporting quarterly earnings of $1.05 a share, nearly double a year earlier and above estimates of 86 cents. Sales declined to $1.65 billion, though bested estimates of $1.64 billion.
H&R Block (HRB) disappointed analysts, reporting full-year earnings of $1.75 a share, down from $1.81 a year earlier and less estimates of $2.03. The accounting firm didn't provide numbers for its standalone fourth quarter.