U.S. stocks rose in a late-day rally on Tuesday afternoon, helped by gains in biotechs including Gilead (GILD.O) and in materials shares.
Shares of Gilead rose 2.7 percent at $87.60, while Allergan (AGN.N) added 2.2 percent at $272.10. The Nasdaq Biotech Index .NBI was up 1.7 percent after trading lower earlier in the day.
Eight of the 10 S&P sectors were in positive territory, including S&P materials .SPLRCM, which jumped 1.6 percent in late trading.
Energy shares remained down sharply as Brent crude settled 7.8 percent lower on the day, and the group offset gains in other sectors. The energy index .SPNY was down 1.7 percent.
U.S. stock indexes have struggled for most of 2016, falling sharply on increasing worries of a sustained global slowdown.
"Over the last couple of days, that's spread into the financial system. It's difficult to find a lot of momentum to the upside for any sustained period of time," said Steven Baffico, chief executive officer at Four Wood Capital Partners in New York.
At 3:11 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 67.59 points, or 0.42 percent, to 16,094.64, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 10.28 points, or 0.55 percent, to 1,863.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 22.77 points, or 0.53 percent, to 4,306.52.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2,036 to 1,009, for a 2.02-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,553 issues fell and 1,211 advanced for a 1.28-to-1 ratio favouring decliners.
The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and 78 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 387 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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