Wall Street rallied Thursday for its first gain in three days after a sudden surge in oil prices revived beaten-down energy stocks. But, as has so often been the case in this year's volatile market, it took a few U-turns to get there.
The price of crude spurted as much as 30% higher after President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to back away from their price war, which erupted last month and helped drag U.S. oil to its lowest price in 18 years. The surge lifted energy stocks enough to pull the S&P 500 higher and outshine another dismal report showing that millions of Americans are joining the unemployment queue by the week.
But stocks and oil quickly pared much of their initial gains and then see-sawed through the day as markets weighed how seriously to take Trump’s statement, particularly after the Kremlin reportedly disputed part of his tweet, before climbing again to the close.
By the end of trading, U.S. oil was up $5.01, or 24.7%, after settling at $25.32 per barrel.
“Investors are just grasping at a positive straw here on a particular day," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Hermes.
The S&P 500 rose 2.3% to 2,526.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 469.93, or 2.2%, to 21,413.44, and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%, to 7,487.31. -- AP