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story.lead_photo.caption At the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, stocks rose as financial markets looked ahead to today’s inflation report.

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose for the third day in a row Tuesday, led by banks, retailers and technology companies. The rebound over the past few days follows a harrowing drop of more than 10 percent over the previous two weeks.

After a wobbly start, stocks started climbing in the early afternoon and wound up with their most placid day in the past few weeks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.94 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,662.94. The Dow added 39.18 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,640.45. The Nasdaq composite gained 31.55 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,013.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks finished up 3.97 points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,494.95.

Amazon climbed once again, and athletic-apparel companies rose after solid fourth-quarter results from Under Armour.

Apple continued to recoup some of its recent losses. Energy companies slipped again, and companies that distribute prescription drugs and medical supplies slumped.

Stocks have been making big swerves higher and lower recently. Last week the Dow Jones industrial average twice fell 1,000 points in a day, sometimes gaining or losing hundreds of points in a few minutes. But on Tuesday, the gap between the Dow's highest mark and its lowest was a more modest 284 points.

Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide Investment Management, said investors who have steered clear of the stock market started to pile in over the past few months, but that round of buying ended abruptly.

"The pattern that we saw over the last month and a half is not by any stretch of the imagination unusual," he said, "But it is compressed. It normally doesn't happen over a six-week period."

Hackett said he feels stocks have fallen to more reasonable prices, partly because of the market slump and partly because corporate earnings grew at a strong clip in the fourth quarter.

Today, the Labor Department will issue its monthly report on consumer prices. Investors will be watching carefully because the recent bout of market volatility was touched off by worries that inflation might be increasing.

Under Armour climbed after it reported better-than-expected sales as shoe and accessory revenue picked up. The stock had plunged 50 percent in 2017 on top of a 30 percent decline in 2016. It rose $2.47, or 17.2 percent, to $16.70. Athletic-apparel retailer Foot Locker also gained ground.

Amazon climbed $28.28, or 2 percent, to $1,414.51, and dollar stores, department stores and clothing companies made gains as well.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is looking to win over hospitals and clinics to distribute a variety of medical products. Two other distributors of prescription drugs also fell. Cardinal Health lost $2.34, or 3.4 percent, to $65.69 and McKesson fell $2.84, or 1.9 percent, to $146.18.

In January Amazon announced a partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway aimed at reducing health care costs. It's widely believed to have designs on a larger role in the health care system.

Business on 02/14/2018

Print Headline: Stocks edge higher for third day

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