Stocks rose for a fourth day straight Tuesday on hopes that a vote of confidence in the Greek government will help the country avoid a default.
The vote was held after the markets closed Tuesday. A successful vote could reassure investors that Greece will push through budget cuts required to get the latest installment of emergency loans. Worries that a default by Greece could lead to a wider financial crisis have been a drag on markets since early May.
Materials producers and other companies whose profits are closely tied to global economic growth had the biggest gains Tuesday. Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. rose 4 percent, leading the 30 companies that make up the Dow. Gains were widespread, with nine out of 10 industry groups higher. Only consumer goods saw a decline.
“One of the reasons we're more positive than negative on stocks is that there's so much bad news priced into the markets right now,” said Eric Thorne, an investment adviser and senior vice president at of Bryn Mawr Trust Wealth Management, which has $4 billion in assets under management. “The bar has been set so low for housing and jobs that it makes us feel like we may be able to jump over that low bar.”
The S&P 500 index rose 17.16 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 1295.52. The last time the S&P rose four days straight was at the end of May.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 109.63, slightly less than 1 percent, to 12,190.01. The Nasdaq composite rose 57.60, or 2.2 percent, to 2,687.26.
Before posting a small gain last week, stocks indexes fell for six straight weeks after reaching a peak for the year on April 29.
Another reason stocks are rising is that analysts expect corporate earnings growth to remain strong. That's despite more than a dozen reports since May that showed the U.S. economy has slowed. Home prices and sales have declined, manufacturing growth has slowed, and the job market remains weak.
The Federal Reserve began a two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Economists expect the central bank to keep interest rates at record lows, but most say the Fed won't announce another round of bond buying to help boost the economy.
The KansasCity.com Regional Stocks index climbed to 685.87, up 6.49 or 0.95%.
BATS 1000 rose 216.56 points, or 1.48%, to close at 14,836.96.
Capitol Federal Financial rose 7 cents, or 0.58%, to close at $12.05.
Cerner Corp. rose $1.33, or 1.13%, to close at $118.73.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 29 cents, or 0.70%, to close at $41.78.
Compass Minerals rose 34 cents, or 0.40%, to close at $85.47.
DST Systems Inc. rose $1.45, or 2.85%, to close at $52.25.
Garmin Ltd. rose 31 cents, or 0.92%, to close at $33.98.
Great Plains Energy fell 8 cents, or 0.38%, to close at $20.84.
H&R Block Inc. rose 45 cents, or 2.89%, to close at $16.00.
Inergy L.P. rose 41 cents, or 1.17%, to close at $35.42.
Kansas City Southern rose $2.72, or 5.04%, to close at $56.72.
Sprint Nextel Corp. rose 3 cents, or 0.58%, to close at $5.24.
UMB Financial Corp. rose 12 cents, or 0.29%, to close at $40.97.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. fell 19 cents, or 0.52%, to close at $36.04.
YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 6 cents, or 9.20%, to close at $0.66.
| From staff and news reports