The market still has a lot of ground to make up following last week’s major declines.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 293.03 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,351.38. That index fell more than 470 points the day before. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 35.01 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,948.86 and the Nasdaq composite rose 113.87 points, or 2.5 percent, 4,749.98.
Tax preparation company H&R Block was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, rising $2.47, or 7.5 percent, to $35.42. The company reported a smaller-than-expected loss and announced a $3.5 billion stock buyback program.
The market has been bouncing around sharply the last few weeks following signs of weakness in China and uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates. Triple-digit moves in the Dow have been an almost daily occurrence in the past month.
While China remains a dominant force in traders’ minds, investors are now turning their attentions toward the U.S.
A private survey showed that U.S. businesses added jobs at a steady pace last month, with construction and manufacturing showing solid gains. The payroll processor ADP said businesses added 190,000 jobs last month, up from 177,000 in July, but below a six-month high set in June of 231,000.
The ADP report comes two days before Friday’s August jobs report. Economists are forecasting that U.S. employers created 220,000 jobs in August, and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent.
China remains in focus across financial markets. The Shanghai composite index opened more than 4 percent lower, but turned positive by midday and eventually ended the day down just 0.2 percent. The volatile trading led some analysts to suspect Beijing was intervening to support share prices before a two-day holiday.
Tracking Chinese shares, other Asian benchmarks swung between gains and losses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 1.2 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.4 percent.
Europe closed modestly higher. Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.
Oil ended a choppy day higher after an Energy Department report showed a decline in fuel supplies, which suggests rising demand. U.S. crude rose 84 cents to close at $46.25 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 94 cents to close at $50.50 a barrel in London.
In other futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline rose 2.9 cents to close at $1.425 a gallon, heating oil rose 3.1 cents to close at $1.609 a gallon and natural gas fell 5.4 cents to close at $2.648 per 1,000 cubic feet.
U.S. government bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 2.19 percent from 2.15 percent on Tuesday.
The euro was 0.5 percent lower at $1.1234, a day ahead of the European Central Bank’s latest policy meeting. The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 120.25 yen.
The price of gold edged down $6.20 to $1,133.60 an ounce, silver slipped five cents to $14.66 an ounce and copper rose three cents to $2.33 a pound.