June 16 (UPI) -- Surprising retail sales figures for May propelled U.S. stocks in early trading Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said in its monthly report U.S. retail sales increased by nearly 18 percent last month, surprising many analysts who'd projected growth of less than 10 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 700 points after the opening bell before retreating slightly. The index was up almost 500 points by 12:30 p.m. EDT.
The S&P 500 was up about 50 points by early Tuesday afternoon and the Nasdaq was up about 130.
The Dow made a significant rebound on Monday, opening with a decline of more than 700 points but closing up 157 points at day's end.
Also influencing stocks Tuesday is the congressional testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. He began two days of testimony on Capitol Hill, where he will update lawmakers on the state of the U.S. economy and future recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In testimony Tuesday, Powell said the domestic economy likely won't see a full recover until the public is confident the pandemic is contained.