Markets

Stock Market Today: Upbeat Economic Data Cheers Investors

DOW, AXP among Dow Jones' top performers

The stock market largely ignored unrest across the nation for a second straight day, clawing out small gains as investors focused instead on states' continued efforts to reopen their economies.

A steady drip, drip, drip of positive data -- including improvements in "TSA air travel activity, hotel occupancies, seated diners, and gasoline consumption," according to LPL Financial Equity Strategist Jeffrey Buchbinder -- is helping to keep stocks aloft. That was reflected in the Dow's leaders Tuesday, which included economically sensitive stocks such as Dow (DOW, +5.2%), American Express (AXP, +2.4%) and Caterpillar (CAT, +2.3%).

The industrial average managed to hang on to a 1.1% gain, finishing at 25,743.

Stocks are getting ever closer to climbing out of the hole. The Dow, which had dropped by as much as 36.7% from its bull-market peak to its bear-market low, is now 12.4% off its highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which is now positive for the year, needs to gain just 2.2% to retake record territory. (And these are 15 of the index's stocks that are expected to help the Nasdaq do it.) That's great if you've stayed fully invested in equities, but investors looking to get back in are slowly watching cheap valuations and high yields erode.

Fortunately, several opportunities remain. These 10 value stocks not only trade at appealing prices, but have the financial strength you want to see in recession-era investments. And income investors can rest easy knowing several lofty yields are still in play.

We've recently examined seven dividend stocks that not only yield 5%, but have been given high "dividend health" ratings that indicate a high chance that the payouts will not just survive, but thrive. Read about each of these high-payout stocks here.

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