Recovery hopes lift Wall Street

Investors placed modest bets on signs of economic recovery Tuesday, looking past protests that have rocked major American cities. They're making riskier investments, buying stocks in economically sensitive sectors like energy, materials and financials.

The S&P 500 rose for the fifth time in six sessions, up eight-tenths percent. The Dow tacked on 1%. The Nasdaq gained 6-tenths percent. The Nasdaq has completely recovered from its swoon earlier this year and is now just 2% from its all-time high.

DataTrek Research co-founder Nick Colas:

"We're seeing a continued follow-through rally so far into the afternoon for U.S. equities. It's entirely in keeping with the recovery theme."

Western Union shares were the biggest gainer on the S&P. Bloomberg reports the money transfer company made a bid to buy its smaller rival, MoneyGram. The news also catapulted MoneyGram's shares sharply higher.

Shares of Southwest Airlines got a lift after the carrier extended buyout offers and paid leave to employees in what its CEO said was an effort to "ensure survival."

And in a sign of market confidence, Warner Music is set to debut on the Nasdaq on Wednesday in what could be the biggest IPO in the U.S. so far this year.