Dow Closed with Triple Digit Gain

U.S. stocks ended Tuesday’s choppy session with solid gains as wild swings in oil markets continued to dominate investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 117.65 points, or 0.72%, to 16,516.22. The S&P 500 added 15.01 points, or 0.78%, to 1,938.68. The Nasdaq Composite was up 47.93 points, or 1.03%, to 4,685.92.

Oil prices tumbled to their lowest level in 12 years Tuesday in response to fears of slumping demand in China and a strengthening U.S. dollar. The top grade of light, sweet crude oil for near-term delivery fell 71 cents to close at $30.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest level since December 2003.

MetLife Inc. (MET) said it is planning to spin off its U.S. retail business into a separate entity as part of its strategic review process. The new company will have assets of around $240 billion and represent about 20% of MetLife’s operating earnings.

The sale of a bit of Saudi Aramco, a government-owned oil producer, could be the first in a series of spinoffs and privatizations by Riyadh.Selling these assets while oil prices are low makes sense both economically and politically.

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