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While investors focused on what might come from Washington this week, Wall Street was cheered by several economic readings.
A private research group reported that consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in September. The Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 59.8 from a revised 58.5 in August; Wall Street had expected a reading of 55.5, according to Thomson/IFR. The reading, which doesn't reflect attitudes following Monday's steep stock market sell-off, remains near a 16-year low.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers' index, which measures business conditions across Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, came in at 56.7 compared with 57.9 in August — a second straight month of a strong reading.
Light, sweet crude rose $4.27 to settle at $100.64 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell more than $10 a barrel Monday as investors worried that a weaker economy would curtail demand.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 5.84 billion shares by the closing bell.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 21.86, or 3.32 percent, to 679.58.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 4.12 percent. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.76. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.74 percent, Germany's DAX index added 0.41 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 1.99 percent.
On the Net:
New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com
Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com