The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.1 percent to 21,703.75 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1 percent to 6,213.13. The S&P 500 added 24.14 points, or 1%, to 2452.51, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 84.35 points, or 1.4%, to 6297.48, its biggest gain since June 28. (NYSE: CAT) rose 2% and defense contractor Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) finished up 1.7%. Few major economic reports are on deck.
Dow industrials advanced sharply on Tuesday, as bargain-hunters picked up beaten-down stocks following a volatile two weeks. Worries about politics, both domestic and global, contributed to the nervousness.
The Dow briefly fell below its 50-day moving average, while the S&P 500 remained below the 50-day technical level.
Investors were watching for further details on the Fed's plans to scale back its balance sheet and clues on when the European Central Bank could trim its asset purchases, which have helped underpin markets in recent years.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: This week's highlight will likely be a mountain gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for central bankers, economists and policy makers.
Tremendous stimulus from central banks has been one of the main reasons for the stock market's surge since the Great Recession. But the Federal Reserve is now slowly raising interest rates and preparing to pare back the vast trove of bonds that it bought following the 2008 financial crisis. Investors are wondering when the European Central Bank may follow suit.
Aug 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea kept investors on edge, while a drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 0.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,356.90. Technology shares led the advance, up 1.4 percent and on pace for its first gain in four sessions.
Several companies were moving on deal talk Monday.
YIELDS: Treasury yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.19%, from late Friday's 2.20%. The euro rose to $1.1783, from $1.1760, and the British pound rose to $1.2889, from $1.2876.
In commodities, the October crude contract was ahead 42 cents to $47.95 (U.S.) per barrel and the September natural gas contract was down two cents to $2.94 per mmBTU.