U.S. stocks rallied, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its strongest gain in more than seven weeks, amid better-than-forecast earnings from companies ranging from 3M Co. to Coach Inc. while energy shares rebounded with oil after a selloff Monday.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 1.4 percent to 1,903.62 at 4 p.m. in New York, recovering from a 1.6 percent drop yesterday.
Tuesday’s rally provided a reprieve for the S&P 500, which remains on track for its worst January since 2009 as a plunge in oil prices exacerbated worries that China’s slowdown will weigh on global growth. Better-than-forecast earnings reports and economic data today helped soothe some of those concerns, while Federal Reserve officials gathered in Washington for a two-day policy meeting.
Policy makers are widely expected to leave rates steady, though investors will be scouring Wednesday’s statement for hints officials are backing away from the path of four rate increases in 2016. Signals last week that central banks in Europe and Japan stand ready to boost stimulus to tamp down market volatility fueled a flight to risk assets after equities had the worst two-week start to a year on record.