Stocks Ended Sharply Higher, Lifted by Oil’s Rebound

U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday, as energy stocks soared amid a rebound in oil prices, on hopes oil producers will cut output to address the supply glut. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 282.01 points, or 1.78%, to 16,167.23. The S&P 500 gained 26.55 points, or 1.41%, to 1,903.63. The Nasdaq Composite was up 49.18 points, or 1.09%, to 4,567.67.

Oil futures finished higher on Tuesday. March West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.11, or 3.7%, to settle at $31.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent crude  ended at $31.80 a barrel.

Volatile stock and oil markets have some investment strategists looking for the Federal Reserve to step in with a balm Wednesday by signaling more modest rate hikes this year than it had previously planned.

The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence rose to 98.1 from a reading of 96.3 in December. That was above the 96.2 seen in a MarketWatch-compiled consensus and the best reading since October.

AT&T Inc. (T) reported revenue that fell short of analysts’ expectations. Fourth-quarter earnings swung to a profit of $4 billion, or 65 cents a share, from a loss of $4 billion, or 77 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue climbed 22% to $42.1 billion.

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