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U.S. stock indexes closed out a record-breaking second quarter on Tuesday, with all three of the major indexes ending higher on the day and each finishing the quarter with their best performance in at least 20 years.

By the numbers: The benchmark S&P 500 ended Tuesday up 1.5% for its third positive close in four days.

  • The index finished June up 1.8%, rising every month during the quarter. Its 20% gain for Q2 was the best quarterly performance since Q4 1998, when the index jumped 20.9%.
  • Still the S&P is down 4% year to date.

The Dow ended Tuesday up 0.85%, or 217 points, for its third positive day in a row. It rose 1.7% for the month and rose every month during the quarter.

  • The index closed the second quarter up 17.8% for its best quarter since Q1 1987, but is down 9.6% year to date.

The Nasdaq rose 1.9% on Tuesday, gaining 6% in June, which marked its third straight positive month.

  • It gained 30.6% in the second quarter, its best since Q4 1999 when it jumped 48.2%.
  • The index is up 12.1% year to date.

Go deeper

Oil giant Equinor beats earnings expectations despite coronavirus slump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Oil's second-quarter financials are going to be a rough scene, but this morning brought a surprise when Equinor announced $350 million in adjusted earnings for the quarter.

Why it matters: The Norway-based multinational's profit was far below the $3.15 billion from the same period a year ago, but analysts had been expecting a loss, Reuters reports.

2020's asset bonanza: Silver and gold are surging

Silver prices jumped to the highest in almost seven years and gold moved closer to a record high on Tuesday as silver rose by nearly 6%.

Between the lines: The two precious metals are running just behind the Nasdaq in terms of performance over the past year and year to date.

Jul 22, 2020 - Health

Hospital chain HCA posts massive Q2 profit despite pandemic

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country, smashed Wall Street's second-quarter profit expectations even though the coronavirus outbreak forced hospitals to halt elective procedures for several weeks during the quarter.

The bottom line: Medical claims and revenues noticeably declined among hospitals during the height of the pandemic, which has benefited health insurers. But that didn't prevent hospitals from making a lot of money, a large chunk of which was directly subsidized by taxpayers in the form of bailout funds.