Energy companies led U.S. stocks to modest gains Wednesday as the market recouped some of its hefty losses from the day before.

Big retailers and health care companies also helped lift the market, which was coming off its worst day in almost three weeks. Utilities and phone companies were the biggest laggards. Some travel booking companies and airlines also fell.

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“It’s a little bit of a rebound from the sort of dramatic day yesterday after everybody got back from the long holiday weekend at the end of the summer and refocused on the market,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research. “We’ve seen that through the past year, any time we’ve had some sort of dip, it’s a buying opportunity for investors.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.3 percent, to 2,465.54. The Dow Jones industrial average added 54.33 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,807.64. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.3 percent, to 6,393.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,402.20.

The stock indexes are on pace to end the week lower, but are holding on to gains for the year. The S&P 500 and Dow are both up just over 10 percent. The Nasdaq is up 18.8 percent, while the Russell 2000 has gained 3.3 percent. — AP