Stocks rally after rout

Wall Street bounces one day after the Dow closed below 7,000 for the first time in almost 12 years.

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By CNNMoney.com staff

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks gained Tuesday morning, bouncing after the previous session's bloodletting in which the Dow Jones industrial average closed below 7,000 for the first time since 1997.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 80 points, or 1.1%, after ending the previous session at the lowest point since April 25, 1997.

The S&P 500 (SPX) index rose 10 points, or 1.4%, after ending the previous session at its lowest point since Oct. 28, 1996.

The Nasdaq composite (COMP) gained 17 points, or 1.3% after ending the previous session at a 3-month low. The tech-fueled Nasdaq has held up better than the other major averages this year.

The Dow plummeted nearly 300 points Monday, to finish at 6,763.29, less than half its peak of 14,164.53 hit on Oct. 9, 2007.

The Monday plunge occurred after AIG posted the biggest quarterly loss in history and got a revision to its massive government bailout.

Given the recent ongoing weakness, experts are cautious about the outlook for stocks.

"I think it would be futile to try and find a bottom," said David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Markets in London. "Sentiment is just absolutely bombed out."

Budget: President Obama's budget proposals will be a topic of discussion on Capitol Hill, with several key figures testifying before committees.

In the morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to appear before the Senate Budget Committee and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag is slated to speak to the House Budget Committee.

Later in the day, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Economy: The National Association of Realtors issues its pending home sales report for January after the open. A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com expects a 3.5% decline after a 6.3% increase in December.

Starting around midday, what's expected to be more dismal news will come from automakers reporting their U.S. sales for February.

Markets: Asian stocks ended lower Tuesday, with Tokyo's Nikkei index down 0.7%. European stocks were mostly higher in afternoon trading, though the FTSE in London was in decline.

Oil and money: Oil bounced off a 10% plunge, up 72 cents to $40.87 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the British pound, but rose against the yen. To top of page

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