Stocks post modest gains, driven by banks and energy companies

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Stocks posted modest gains on Wall Street Tuesday afternoon as investors returned from a three-day weekend and digested a report showing increased manufacturing growth as the coronavirus pandemic subsided in the United States

The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% at 2:28 p.m. EST. The benchmark was a 0.7% gain and a 0.2% loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points, or 0.2%, to 34,611. The Nasdaq was up less than 0.1% after declining 0.5% at the start. Small business stocks have overtaken the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 Index added 1.1%.

Banks have been among the biggest winners, as bond yields have risen, allowing them to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.58% on Friday to 1.61%. US markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day. Bank of America rose 1.1%.

Energy companies have also helped to lift the market at large. Crude oil prices jumped more than 2%, helping to push up producers. Exxon Mobil rose 3.6%.


Healthcare and tech companies fell, controlling gains elsewhere in the market.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that manufacturing resumed in May. The ISM manufacturing index stood at 61.2 last month, much better than the 60.6 expected by economists polled by FactSet.

The growth in the manufacturing sector has come despite supply shortages that plagued many manufacturers for weeks, especially those in need of semiconductors.

This is the latest economic data that showed the US economy was growing rapidly outside of the coronavirus pandemic. Investors will receive employment data later this week, which should show US employers created 663,000 jobs last month.

AMC Entertainment jumped 22.8% after the theater operator announced a sale of shares. AMC, whose shares have risen more than 1,000% this year, are among a handful of companies that caught the attention of a group of online retail investors earlier this year, as well as companies like GameStop.



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