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Health stocks pull up markets

A trader works on the floor of the

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange the afternoon of Sept. 28, 2015 on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 300 points Monday, closing at just above 16,000. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

Health care shares rebounded Tuesday from their longest losing streak in four years. The Standard & Poor's 500 index trimmed its worst quarterly decline since 2011.

At the close on Wall Street, the S&P 500 had risen 2.3 points, about 0.1 percent, to 1,884.1. It lost 2.6 percent Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 47.2 points, about 0.3 percent, to 16,049.1. The Dow lost nearly 2 percent Monday. Only the Nasdaq composite lost, closing down 26.7 points, about 0.6 percent, at 4,517.3. It had been down about 3 percent Monday.

About the same time, the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 79 cents at $45.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Health care stocks rose 1 percent, bouncing back from a plunge a day earlier. Energy stocks followed the price of oil higher.

ANALYST'S VIEW. "When we have spikes in volatility, like we did at the end of August, that's normally followed by some additional choppiness until it peters out," said Kevin Caron, a market strategist and portfolio manager who helps oversee $170 billion at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Florham Park, New Jersey. "It's not uncommon to see this around changes in direction for key things like monetary policy. We still have this lingering volatility that we're working through."

VOLATILITY. Stocks have been volatile in recent weeks as investors balance caution over the Federal Reserve's rate tightening policy with concern that an economic slowdown in Asia will curb demand for commodities and crimp global growth.

This story was compiled using reports from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.

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