Stock Market Today: Energy Gets a Spark as Stocks Snap Back

A Saudi deal helped juice U.S. crude oil to its highest price since February, buoying the energy sector in a broad Tuesday rebound for stocks.

oil barrels
(Image credit: Getty Images)

That's more like it! While stock markets started off 2021 on the wrong foot yesterday, they tried to make up for it with a decent recovery Tuesday.

COVID-19 remains a serious worry point – not just the high current caseload and hospitalizations in the U.S., but mutant strains that have popped up all over the world. However, for a day at least, investors appeared more preoccupied with other events.

Under the microscope are Georgia's senatorial runoffs, where the betting markets are now slightly leaning toward two Democratic wins, which would effectively give the party control of Washington. While Raymond James policy strategists expect such a result would trigger a near-term sell-off, "longer term, there will be growing optimism for additional stimulus."

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Meanwhile, energy stocks (opens in new tab) including Chevron (CVX (opens in new tab), +2.7%) and Exxon Mobil (XOM (opens in new tab), +4.8%) took off following a Saudi Arabian deal to cut production that sent U.S. crude oil futures above $50 per barrel for the first time since February 2020. Chevron's contributions helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average close 0.6% higher to 30,391. (Remember: XOM got the boot in 2020.)

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 recovered 0.7% to 3,726.
  • The Nasdaq Composite popped by 1.0% to 12,818.
  • Small caps roared back, as the Russell 2000 gained 1.7% to finish at 1,979.
  • Gold futures, helped by a decline in the dollar, gained 0.3% to $1,952.50 per ounce, a two-month high.
  • Bitcoin prices, at roughly $31,600 yesterday, eclipsed $34,000 on Tuesday. (Bitcoin prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Qualcomm (QCOM (opens in new tab)) shares gained 2.7% after the chipmaker announced that CEO Steve Mollenkopf would retire this year, to be succeeded by current President Cristiano Amon.

stock chart for 010521

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Make the Most Out of Any Dips

2021 might not be as crazy as 2020, but it certainly won't be uneventful. COVID should remain a persistent threat for the foreseeable future, and election-related uncertainty – which typically would be well behind us – could stick around for another week or two.

"The early week Georgia Senate runoff election and slew of significant economic data throughout the week should keep volatility with us for the time being," says Canaccord Genuity strategist Tony Dwyer, who adds that "we stand ready to add to any exposure investors might have on any meaningful weakness."

Among the best stocks to buy on weakness, of course, are dividend stocks. Not only do you get the potential for price appreciation, but you get a better yield to boot. That's why any volatility-related watch list should contain a few income names, be they these 25 highly rated dividend payers (opens in new tab), or these 11 stocks that deliver cash monthly (opens in new tab).

But there are 10 picks that investors should buy immediately if they haven't already ... or at least, so say the rules of the "Dogs of the Dow."

If you're curious to learn about this simple, decades-old income investing strategy, or just want to know which stocks are highlighted on this year's list, read on as we shed light on this year's Dogs of the Dow.

Kyle Woodley was long Bitcoin as of this writing.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.