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Stocks climbed Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, as buyers

Stocks climbed Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, as buyers returned to the market. These traders were working Monday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks posted their biggest gains in more than a week Tuesday, led by rising energy companies and banks.

The market was higher all day, building on a late gain the day before. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose for the second day in a row, something that hadn’t happened since early November. Energy stocks rose as the price of crude oil jumped 3 percent, and banks moved higher a day ahead of an expected rate increase by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 156.41 points to close at 17,524.91. The S&P 500 increased 1.06 percent to 2,043.41. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.87 percent to 4,995.36.

Stocks have been on a bumpy ride ever since a six-week winning streak ended in early November. They dropped sharply in mid-November, then bounced back the following week but failed to build consistently on those gains.

Last week, a plunge in the price of oil set off a sharp drop in energy stocks, which dragged the broader market down to its second-worst weekly performance of 2015. Now with more encouraging signs on the economy, many expect the Fed to begin returning borrowing costs back toward normal levels with its first interest rate increase in nine years.— AP

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