U.S. stocks came off session lows on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average recouping more than half its losses, as investor concern about the global economy eased.
Tuesday's drop had "not much to do with what is going on in the states, there is no shift in fundamentals," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. Major Chinese oil and bank stocks fell, some by the daily limit of 10 percent allowed by regulators, after China's clearing house for securities trades raised the minimum rating for corporate bonds it would accept in exchange for short-term credit. That prompted concerns about the availability of financing for trades. The Athens stock exchange plunged 13 percent, its biggest one-day drop since 1987. Investors are worried that the country might have to hold early general elections and that a left-wing opposition party would win.
Another market analyst said U.S. investors were more worried about the dearth of data to support the notion that lower gasoline prices are translating into increased consumer spending during the holiday shopping season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed as much as 222 points earlier in the session, but closed down 58.89 at 17793.59. The S&P 500 shed 0.02 percent and the Nasdaq closed up 0.54 percent.
-- Kate Gibson, CNBC and The Associated Press