U.S. stocks traded higher Tuesday, helped by weakness in the yen against the dollar and gains in oil prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 200 points in midday trade, with Goldman Sachs and Boeing contributing the most to gains as nearly all constituents advanced. With a gain of more than 1 percent in midday trade, the Dow was on pace for its best day since March 11.
The S&P 500 traded more than 1 percent higher with industrials and energy leading all sectors higher.
"I think you have a lot of crosscurrents going on. I'd say it's somewhat directionless right now," Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management, said, noting underperformance in the Russell 2000. The small-cap index held about 0.3 percent higher in midday trade.
"A lot of it is oil. Oil's up," he said. "The dollar has been a little stronger recently. It's flat. The climb has stopped. That was putting pressure on commodities."
U.S. crude oil futures rose more than 2 percent to trade near $44.40 a barrel, while brent was up more than 3 percent above $45 a barrel as of 12:06 p.m. ET. Traders noted some support for prices from a flat U.S. dollar index and anticipation of weekly inventory data due from API after the close Tuesday and the EIA Wednesday morning ET.
Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, attributed much of the early gains in equities to weakness in the yen following overnight comments from Japanese authorities.
"Not that they did anything, but they're talking about something," he said.
Japan will intervene in the currency market if "one-sided" yen rises last long enough to hurt its economy, Finance Minister Taro Aso said in a Reuters report overnight, issuing the strongest threat of action since the yen started its rapid ascent in the past few weeks.