Following a rough start to the new year on Monday, stocks, and index ETFs advanced slightly on Tuesday, attempting to regain some of the lost ground from the prior session, as investors await important elections in Georgia.

“Today’s Georgia Senate runoff could have substantial implications for the markets if both Democrat candidates win,” wrote Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. “We don’t view a Democrat Senate as a bearish game-changer in the short term because there would still be a lot of positives in this market. But it would be a new and unaccounted for initial head-wind on stocks.”

The S&P 500 added 0.28% after plunging on Monday, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.46%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.18%.

Major stock ETFs are also breaking to higher ground on Tuesday as investors weigh Monday’s losses. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) are all advancing just after noon EST.

With crude surging Tuesday, Energy ETFs are also making big gains thanks to moves from Chevron and Exxon, which both climbed more than 3%, amid OPEC and Russia reportedly reaching a deal on an oil production plant. U.S. oil futures rocketed 5% to break above $50 per barrel for the first time since February, as the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) climbed 4.5%.

See The Climb

Better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data also helped to drive stocks higher. The Institute for Supply Management noted that its manufacturing index climbed to 60.7 in December from 57.5 in November, whereas economists polled by Dow Jones projected the index to hit 57.

Investors are still leery of seeing better gains, however, as the spike in coronavirus cases globally and new lockdown restrictions continued to generate concerns. Over 85 million coronavirus infections have been established globally, including 20.8 million in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This number includes a new and more easily transmittable strain that has health pundits worried.

“Investors are feeling antsy this week,” Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, said in an email. “COVID cases continue to spike, with a new variant of the virus spreading across the globe…runoff races in Georgia could decide the makeup of the Senate, and the market generally has performed better in a split Congress.”

The stabilization in equities and index ETFs on Tuesday follows a steep rip lower Monday to kick off 2021. The S&P 500 dropped 1.5% on Monday, having been down over 2% at one point, and posted its worst daily performance since Oct. 27, while the other benchmark indices followed suit.

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