By Joe Wallace and Sam Goldfarb 

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, extending a recent run of gains that has pushed the S&P 500 near its first record close since February.

The broad stock market index climbed 0.6% after advancing for the seventh consecutive session Monday, its longest winning streak in more than a year. The index is within 1% of its record close set Feb. 19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 303 points, or 1.1%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index edged down less than 0.1%.

Shares of companies that are particularly sensitive to the direction of the U.S. economy -- such as banks, energy firms, cruise operators and airlines -- helped pull indexes higher, a sign that a decline in new confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases and some better-than-expected economic data has helped bolster investors' optimism.

Investors, meanwhile, sold assets viewed as havens.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 0.646%, according to Tradeweb, from 0.573% Monday, on track for its biggest increase since June. Yields rise when bond prices fall. The price of gold fell 4.7% to $1,944.00 a troy ounce.

Shares of some fast-growing technology companies like and Netflix continued to lag, a reversal of what has been a hugely popular trade in recent months fueled by a belief that those companies are relatively shielded from the pandemic's economic damage.

"It's a very healthy sign that the market has broadened out and we're not just being led by a handful of stocks," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird Co.

There is, he added, a "growing confidence that the economy is healing maybe a little faster than it was a few months ago and the second wave of the virus didn't do as much harm as was previously feared."

Investor sentiment was further boosted by signs that President Trump and Democrats are open to restarting negotiations on a broad economic relief package. Administration officials and Democratic leaders urged each other to return to the negotiating table after Mr. Trump issued executive actions on jobless aid and other relief over the weekend.

"The U.S. fiscal stimulus is absolutely critical to keeping market momentum positive," said Nicholas Brooks, head of economic and investment research at Intermediate Capital Group. "Markets are assuming that ultimately Congress will come through with a package, and that there's a lot of brinkmanship going on."

Mr. Trump also said late Monday that he was "very seriously" considering a cut to capital-gains tax and paring taxes for middle-income families.

A recent surge in coronavirus cases continued to show signs of abating. The U.S. reported fewer than 50,000 new cases for the second day in a row Monday, pushing the total number close to 5.1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, investors are concerned by a pickup in infections in parts of Europe that had appeared to bring the virus under control.

"It's hard for markets to digest the conflicting newsflow" on the virus in different regions, said Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. One positive for the world economy is that local lockdown measures "have had a less striking impact on mobility and spending data than the much more stringent lockdowns earlier in the year, " he said.

Among gainers, Norwegian Cruise Line climbed 7.5%, while JPMorgan Chase advanced 5.2%.

Earnings season for the largest U.S. companies is in its final innings. Shares in International Flavors & Fragrances fell 2.9% after the company reported a 40% drop in operating profits in the second quarter from a year before. Of the 91% of companies on the S&P 500 that had reported by Monday, 82% had beaten analysts' profit forecasts, according to FactSet.

Overseas, the Stoxx Europe 600 jumped 1.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index snapped three days of losses to rise 2.1%. The increase was driven partly by a rally in shares of Macau casino stocks, which jumped after the semiautonomous territory's government eased quarantine requirements for visitors from mainland China.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.9%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2%.

--Frances Yoon and Xie Yu contributed to this article.

Write to Joe Wallace at and Sam Goldfarb at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 11, 2020 13:56 ET (17:56 GMT)

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