Stocks finished higher Tuesday. The Dow added 82 points to 23,675 while the S&P 500 was up less than a point to 2,546. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 30 points to 6,783.
The major averages rebounded modestly from a 14-month low during another volatile session on Wall Street. The S&P 500 traded in a wide range during the session jumping 1.1% and falling as much as 0.7% before ending essentially unchanged. Despite today’s advance, the U.S. benchmarks remain on track to post their worst December performance since the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve garnered attention as policy makers began the first day of their final meeting of 2018. On the data front, housing starts increased 3.2% in November, well above the downwardly revised 1.6% decline in October. Separately, November building permits jumped 5.0%, beating expectations of a 0.4% drop.
Six of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory. Consumer Discretionary led the advance as Amazon climbed 2.0% to $1551.48. Technology shares also outperformed as Apple added 1.3% to $166.07. Energy stocks were a notable decliner in sympathy with 16-month low oil prices. Exxon Mobil lost 2.8% to $72.00 while Chevron declined 2.4% to $109.74.
Breadth was positive on issues by 9:8 on the NYSE and negative by 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 4.2 billion shares.
Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the 10-year note off four basis points to 2.82%. In commodities, WTI crude tumbled 7.3% to $46.24/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.1% to $1,249.20/ounce amid a weaker dollar.