U.S. stock benchmarks gained on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 but finished well off their best levels of the session as equity-market investors wrestled with falling yields that usually imply that investors are worried about the domestic economy. All three benchmarks pared firmer gains but the day's advance did snap a two-session slide for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, even as housing data were lackluster and an accurate signal of impending recessions, continued to remain in force.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 141 points, or 0.6%, to 25,657, after earlier rising as many as 279 points. The S&P 500 index advanced 0.7% to 2,818, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.7% to 7,691.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher with gains ranging from 0.4% (consumer discretionary) to 1.5% (energy). Many energy stocks benefited from an increase in oil prices.
Stocks jumped out of the gate as investors rallied to buy the recent dip in equities while bond yields edged up from this year's lows.
In corporate news, shares of Apple finished off by more than 1% after a judge ruled that the iPhone marker infringes a Qualcomm patent. Markets have been on edge after Friday saw the yield-curve inversion manifest for the first time since 2007 and as yields have remained lower. Bond prices and yields move inversely.
The U.S. Dollar Index ended about 0.2% higher at 96.71.
Elsewhere, the price on the benchmark 10-year bond has fallen about 20 basis points with its yield up two basis points to 2.425% after yesterday making lows not seen since December 2017.
U.S. economic data Tuesday were downbeat, with construction on new homes down almost 9% in February to an annual pace of 1.16 million, holding well below year-ago levels. The consumer confidence index dropped to 124.1 in March, the second-lowest rate in a year, from 131.4 in February. The economic data fed uncertainty over the outlook for the economy.
In M&A news, Uber Technologies announced it will acquire Middle East rival Careem Networks for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. Uber plans to kick off its IPO next month.
Looking ahead, investors will receive the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index, the Trade Balance Report for January, and the Current Account Balance for the fourth quarter on Wednesday.