Dow caps off best quarter since 1987 as strong economic data drives gains

Andrew Kelly/Reuters

  • US stocks rose on Tuesday as better-than-expected economic data outweighed mounting concerns about surging COVID-19 cases.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average's 18% gain in the three-month period from April to June marked the index's best quarterly return since 1987.
  • US consumer confidence jumped in June by the most since 2011, exceeding economists' forecasts.
  • Coronavirus cases continue to climb in multiple US states, leading to new restrictions and rollbacks of reopening phases.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks rose on Tuesday as better-than-expected economic data outweighed mounting concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Dow Jones industrial average's 18% gain in the three-month period from April to June marked the index's best quarterly return since 1987. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 saw its best gain since 1998 during the period, while the Nasdaq capped off its best quarter since 2001.Advertisement

Equities got a lift from data showing that US consumer confidence jumped in June by the most since 2011, exceeding economists' forecasts.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Tuesday:

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Still, investors are keeping an eye on increases in COVID-19 cases that could slow the economic recovery. Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona have rolled back reopening plans and imposed new restrictions.

Shares of Uber rose on reports that it was considering purchasing Postmates for about $2.6 billion. Tesla surged to an all-time high after CEO Elon Musk said in an email to employees on Monday night that "breaking even is looking super tight" for the second quarter. Read more: Goldman Sachs has formulated a strategy that could triple the market's return within a year as volatility remains higher than normal — including 11 new stock picks for the months aheadAdvertisement

Wells Fargo declined after saying it would likely slash its dividend in the third quarter to comply with the Federal Reserve's stress test. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan said their dividends would remain the same.

Shares of Boeing slumped after Norwegian Air Shuttle canceled a deal for its jets. Inovio Pharmaceuticals slipped more than 12% following a report that the company hadn't provided data needed to determine whether its coronavirus vaccine candidate was working.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon. In prepared remarks released on Monday, Powell warned that failing to contain the virus could be a problem for the economy going forward.Advertisement

Read more: JPMorgan breaks down how COVID-19 nearly destroyed one of the market's safest trades — and lays out 3 lessons to help investors tackle future crises

In global news, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a national-security law for Hong Kong that's set to go into effect on Tuesday. The law could spark tensions between the US and China and threaten Hong Kong's standing as a financial hub.

Still, China's economy has shown signs of a rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The country's purchasing managers' index climbed to a three-month high in June, surpassing economists' estimates.Advertisement

Oil prices slid. West Texas Intermediate crude as much as 2.1%, to $38.85 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 1.9%, to $40.90 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Read more: Real-estate investor Joe Fairless breaks down how he went from 4 single-family rentals to overseeing 7,000 units worth $900 million — and outlines the epiphany that turbocharged his career

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