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Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Employment in services is starting to return

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

Purchasing managers indexes have been buoyant in recent months and in August the employment component on the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey turned positive after five straight months of readings below 50.

What it means: PMI surveys ask businesses whether conditions are improving or worsening and then produce an index that measures the sentiment of the sector.

1 hour ago - World

Italy tightens COVID restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants

Health workers prepare vaccine doses in Iseo, Italy. Photo: Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.

2 hours ago - Health

Health care in the New Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As America emerges from the pandemic, here's a special Axios AM Deep Dive on the Biden administration's health care agenda.