Wall Street capped a wobbly day of trading Tuesday with modest gains, while Treasury yields extended their recent rally.
The S&P 500 inched up less than 0.1 percent after flipping between small gains and losses for much of the day. About 62 percent of companies in the index rose, with energy sector stocks notching the biggest gain as crude oil prices rose. Companies that rely on consumer spending also helped lift the market, outweighing declines in health care, communications and technology stocks.
Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market by a wide margin, a sign investors are becoming more optimistic about an economic rebound. The Russell 2000 small-cap index climbed to a record high.
Banks and other financial companies added to recent gains as Treasury yields marched higher for the sixth straight day amid expectations the economy will pull out of its slump after a powerful recovery sweeps the globe later this year. Bond yields can influence interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, boosting bank revenue.
The S&P 500 rose 1.58 points to 3,801.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 31,068.69. The Nasdaq composite added 36 points, or 0.3 percent, to 13,072.43. The three indexes remain close to the all-time highs each set Friday.
Markets have been charging higher recently amid a wave of optimism about the future. The rollout of coronavirus vaccines has Wall Street anticipating a big rebound for the economy and corporate profits as daily life starts to return toward normal later this year.
Expectations are also rising for another round of stimulus coming for the economy because Democrats are set to soon have control of the White House, Senate and House.