The stock market finally shook its post-election slump. Investors seized on hope that Washington will reach a deal on the federal budget and drove stocks to their biggest gain in two months. A pair of strong corporate earnings reports also helped.
Stocks got a modest bounce, but not enough to break even for the day, after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting appeared to show increased urgency about providing more help for the American economy.
It was a day of milestones for the stock market. Stronger corporate earnings reports and expectations that central banks will act to support the economy powered the Standard & Poor's 500 index past 1,400 for the first time in three months.
A burst of enthusiasm over a rescue of Spanish banks melted away within hours Monday, and investor anxiety about the troubled finances of Europe grew on both sides of the Atlantic.
Stocks resumed their slow but steady climb Tuesday as Greece appeared close to announcing a deal with creditors to cut its debt. The Dow Jones industrial average ended at its highest level since May 2008.