NEW YORK: Global stock markets broadly rebounded on Tuesday after a two-day swoon while benchmark U.S. Treasury yields steadied above 15-month lows as risk appetite improved after worries of a recession clouded trading since late last week.
Still, while they tallied solid gains, Wall Street's main indexes finished below their session highs as investors continued to grapple with the outlook for the economy.
Markets have been rattled since Friday, when the 3-month U.S. Treasury yield exceeded the yield on the 10-year note, an inversion of the yield curve that is widely seen as an indicator of a recession.
Data on Tuesday showed U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as construction of single-family homes dropped to near a two-year low, while concerns over the economy were underscored by other data showing consumer confidence ebbing in March.
"The market in general has battled this idea of whether there is a global slowdown occurring, and more specifically, whether it is going to impact the U.S.," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.9 points, or 0.55 percent, to 25,657.73, the S&P 500 gained 20.1 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,818.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 53.98 points, or 0.71 percent, to 7,691.52.
Financial stocks rose 1.1 percent after five sessions of declines.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.67 percent, following a two-day losing streak.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.77 percent, after four sessions of losses, boosted by healthcare stocks and on indications that UK Prime Minister Theresa May's deal to exit the European Union could gain some support.
"Anything that can be perceived as lowering the 'hard Brexit' risk would reduce the probability of one the major downside risks to the global economic outlook," said Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were above 15-month lows.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.4195 percent, from 2.418 percent late on Monday. The yield fell as low as 2.377 percent on Monday.
Germany's 10-year bond yield remained near 2-1/2-year lows at below zero percent.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.24 percent, with the euro down 0.36 percent to $1.127.
Oil rose as attention centered on geopolitical factors tightening supplies that are leading to falling exports from Venezuela and declining U.S. inventories.
U.S. crude settled up 1.9 percent at $59.94 per barrel and Brent settled at $67.97, up 1.1 percent.
Gold retreated from the more than 3-week highs touched in the previous session.
Spot gold dropped 0.4 percent to $1,316.32 an ounce.