Bargain-hunting drives slight gains for US stocks

Investors went hunting for bargains a day after U.S. stocks racked up the biggest losses in more than seven months.

The buying helped lift major stock indexes out of the red on Tuesday. Prices of U.S. government bonds fell.

The mini-rebound seemed fragile at times, with the market giving up some of its earlier gains by late afternoon.

Markets were coming off a 326-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average on Monday, and the blue-chip index’s worst January performance in five years prompted by disappointing news about U.S. manufacturing.

All told, the Dow rose 72.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 15,445.24 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 13.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,755.20. The Nasdaq composite gained 34.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,031.52.

Even with Tuesday’s gains, the Dow is down 6.8 percent this year, and the S&P 500 index is off 5 percent .

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