Peace Talks Give Markets a Boost

Benchmark oil price dives for a 2nd day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2022 3:47 PM CDT
Wall St. Makes Gains Amid Signs of Hope in Ukraine
In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, specialist Donald Himpele Jr., center, works with traders at his post on the floor, Tuesday, March 29, 2022.   (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Wall Street built on its recent gains and closed higher Tuesday as talks on ending the war in Ukraine showed signs of progress. Energy stocks were lagging behind again as oil prices sank. Turkey’s foreign minister said Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have reached "a consensus and common understanding" on some issues and Russia said it is cutting back some operations, the AP reports. The S&P 500 rose 56.08 points, or 1.2%, to 4,631.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 338.30 points, or 1%, to 35,294.19. The Nasdaq rose 264.73 points, or 1.8%, to 14,619.64.

Technology and communication stocks helped power the rally, along with big retail chains, automakers and other companies that rely on consumer spending. Apple rose 19% and Netflix was up 3.5%. Ford Motor climbed 6.5% and General Motors gained 4.6%. Smaller company stocks outpaced the broader market in a sign that investors were confident about the economy. The Russell 2000 rose 2.4%. US crude oil prices fell 1.6% and Brent crude, the international standard, slid 6.8%. Prices are still up more than 30% globally for the year, but were up more than 50% as of just last week. Falling oil prices weighed down energy companies, which had some of the biggest losses on Tuesday.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been unsettling markets and adding to lingering concerns about persistently rising inflation and global economic growth. Investors were already busy trying to determine the potential duration and impact of rising inflation on businesses and consumers when the conflict began a month ago. "What we’ve seen over the course of the last several weeks is capital markets have looked toward removing some of the worst case scenarios," says Bill Northey, senior investment director at US Bank Wealth Management.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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