A summer swoon for the stock market appears to be over for now.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed within six points of its all-time high Tuesday, less than two weeks after slumping on concerns about rising tensions in Iraq and Ukraine.
At the close on Wall Street, the S&P gained 9.86 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,981.6. The index is up 1.4 percent for the week and is approaching its record close of 1,987.98 reached July 24. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 80.85 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,919.59. The Nasdaq composite climbed 19.20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,527.51.
Investors were encouraged by economic reports that suggested growth may be poised to pick up, while inflation remains subdued. Company earnings reports also hinted that consumers may be getting more confident and spending more.
Home Depot, the nation's largest home improvement retailer, rose after raising its annual profit forecast following a strong spring selling season. TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores, climbed on strong earnings.
TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores, was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 on Tuesday. The company's stock rose $4.66, or 8.6 percent, to $58.56 after it reported that its quarterly income climbed 8 percent as sales strengthened in the U.S. and abroad. The results beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts. TJX also lifted its full-year earnings forecast.
Home Depot jumped $4.64, or 5.6 percent, to $88.23 after the company said its quarterly income surged 14 percent. Spring is the biggest season for home-improvement retailers as homeowners work on their yards and gardens. Home Depot has also been helped by an improving housing market.
A report that showed inflation remains subdued also gave stocks a lift.
U.S. consumer prices rose in July at the slowest pace in five months, held back by a drop in gasoline prices. Consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, after larger gains of 0.3 percent in June and 0.4 percent in May. If inflation remains constrained, investors judge that the Federal Reserve will be able keep its key interest rate low for longer.