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Dow closes up more than 200 points, best day since March

The Dow Jones industrial average closed more than 1 percent higher Tuesday for its best day since March 11, helped by weakness in the yen against the dollar and gains in oil prices. ( Tweet This )

"It's a little bit hard to tell (why stocks are up). Whatever behind it is more subtle. People are being more comfortable it's not going to roll over and go into another corrective mode," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.

"People are encouraged to some extent the yen is weakening a little bit," he said.

All three major averages closed about 1.25 percent higher in high volume trade, with the Dow up about 222 points. Goldman Sachs and IBM contributed the most to gains, while Pfizer and Wal-Mart were the only decliners.

Energy, materials and industrials rose more than 1.7 percent to lead all S&P 500 sectors higher. Shares of, Microsoft and Alphabet helped gains in the Nasdaq composite, which posted its first three-day win streak since early April.

"I think you have a lot of crosscurrents going on. I'd say it's somewhat directionless right now," Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management, said of morning trade. He noted underperformance in the Russell 2000, which extended mild morning gains to close about 0.95 percent higher.

"A lot of it is oil. Oil's up," Veru said. "The dollar has been a little stronger recently. It's flat. The climb has stopped. That was putting pressure on commodities."

U.S. crude oil futures settled up $1.22, or 2.81 percent, at $44.66 a barrel. Brent closed up 4.3 percent at $45.52 a barrel.

Traders noted some support for prices from a flat U.S. dollar index and anticipation of weekly inventory data due from API after the close Tuesday and the EIA Wednesday morning ET. Short-term supply disruptions from in Canada and Nigeria also contributed to gains in oil prices.

Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, attributed much of the early gains in equities to weakness in the yen following overnight comments from Japanese authorities.

"Not that they did anything, but they're talking about something," he said.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said in a Reuters...