U.S. stock indexes rallied for a third straight day, putting the S&P 500 on pace for its biggest weekly gain since late 2020.
Stocks started Thursday nearly unchanged, but pushed into the green late in the morning, with gains accelerating into the end of the session. Indexes finished near their highs of the day.
The moves suggest traders are beginning to reassess the impact that the war in Ukraine will have on the U.S. stock market. Notably, stocks held on to gains despite a surge in crude prices, with investors saying that they are taking oil market gyrations spurred by the war in greater stride. Some investors said they were instead focusing on the improving value of U.S. stocks.
“It may stay volatile until Russia gets a little clearer, but underneath this is really good fundamentals,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group.
The S&P 500 finished the session up 1.2%, or 53.81 points, at 4411.67. It has climbed nearly 5% so far this week, which would represent its biggest weekly gain since November 2020. The broad-market gauge rallied more than 2% on both Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, all 11 of the S&P 500’s sectors were in the green.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.3%, or 178.23 points, to 13614.78. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.2%, or 417.66 points, to 34480.76.
Some of the biggest market moves were in oil, which has been highly volatile because the war stands to curtail Russia’s role as a major oil supplier. The U.S. crude benchmark added 8.4% Thursday to close at $102.98 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 8.8% to end at $106.64 a barrel.
The S&P 500 energy sector was up roughly 3.5%. Devon Energy Corp. jumped 9.7%, or $5.06, to $57.52. Occidental Petroleum Corp. climbed 9.5%, or $5.02, to $58.01. Marathon Oil Corp. rose 6.9%, or $1.48, to $23.07. Diamondback Energy Inc. advanced 6.6%, or $8.25, to $133.88.
Oil recently traded above $130 a barrel, versus roughly $90 before the war broke out. Traders have been trying to define a new range for oil prices during the war, according to Jason Ware, chief investment officer at Albion Financial Group.