By Joseph Adinolfi and William Watts
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 800 points on Tuesday, as stocks cemented their strongest start to a calendar quarter since 1938, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Both the S&P 500 and the Dow clinched their largest two-day percentage-point gains since April 7, 2020, while the S&P 500 also saw its biggest single-day increase since May 18, 2020.
How stocks traded
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.93% finished 825.43 points, or 2.8%, higher at 30,316.32.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.18% closed up 112.50 points, or 3.1%, at 3,790.93.
The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.05% climbed 360.97 points, or 3.3%, to finish the day at 11,176.41.
On Monday , the Dow surged rose 765 points, or 2.7%, while the S&P 500 jumped 2.6% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.3%. The S&P 500 enjoyed its biggest daily percentage gain since July 27 but remains down 22.8% for the year to date.
What drove markets
Stocks kicked off Tuesday’s session with explosive gains after the open, and continued to climb all day, putting even more distance between the three main benchmarks and the lowest closing levels in 22 months reached late last week.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 notched their strongest advance in the first two days of any quarter since the second quarter of 1938.
Market strategists pointed to several factors helping to drive stocks higher. Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank, said that while stocks had certainly reached oversold conditions, “growing speculation that central banks could soon pivot towards a more dovish stance” was also helping to boost sentiment.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to deliver a smaller-than-expected 25 basis point interest rate hike helped send Asian stocks and other risky assets higher overnight, and it was also credited with feeding talk of a less aggressive Fed.
After markets opened in North America, stocks extended their gains as economic data showed U.S. job openings fell sharply to 10.1 million in August , touching the lowest level since last fall.
The data suggested that the red-hot labor market might be cooling off a bit as interest rates rise and the economy slows, marking the latest example of the “bad news is good news” dynamic that has occasionally manifested in recent weeks.
Investors will hear more about the labor market on Friday, when the nonfarm payrolls data for September is released. Between now and then, investors will also receive updates from ADP’s private payrolls report as well as the weekly update on the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits.
While the “Fed pivot” narrative received a lot of attention on Tuesday, many analysts said the move higher in stocks was more likely the result of stocks falling to oversold levels late last week since nothing has fundamentally changed to warrant a major pivot from the Federal Reserve.
“It mainly looked to me like short-covering once again. We seem to see these types of moves pretty often, and maybe it turns into something, but I doubt it,” said Michael Kramer, founder of Mott Capital Management, in a note.