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Investor Alert

July 14, 2020, 4:18 p.m. EDT

Dow books 557-point gain as Fed's Bullard says unemployment could fall rapidly 'if we play our cards right'

U.S. stocks finished sharply higher Tuesday, and the Dow industrials notched a third straight gain, powered by a rally in energy and materials shares, a day after technology stocks staged a stunning reversal. Comments made by Federal Reserve members implying further support for the economy and pointing to the possibility of a decline in the unemployment rate also helped lift the market, a day after the Nasdaq staged a powerful reversal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) closed up about 557 points, or 2.1%, at 26,643, the S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) closed out the session up 1.3% at 3,198, while the Nasdaq Composite Index (AMERICAN:COMP) concluded the day up 0.9% to around 10,489. Equities added to gains in Tuesday afternoon action after Fed Gov. Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank should use large-scale asset purchases for a "sustained" period to help the economy rebound amid a "thick fog of uncertainty" brought on by COVID-19. Later Tuesday, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard struck an upbeat tone on the outlook, saying that the unemployment rate could drop sharply in the next six months, if "we play our cards right" and many workers subject to temporary layoffs are recalled. On Monday, the Nasdaq led the market action, trading at an intraday record in the early going before turning south hard in afternoon activity to finish the day down 226.60 points, or 2.1%, at 10,390.84.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.