The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) index also was nearing a record high as investors are searching for returns.

Wall Street kicked off the new week by building on a monster rally Friday when the better-than-expected June jobs report soothed concerns about a slowing USA economy and potential fallout from last month's surprise "Brexit" vote. Six of the 10 biggest gainers in the S&P 500 are in the energy sector.

The S&P 500 broke a record high on Monday it held for more than a year, as a string of upbeat economic data alongside low bond yields continued to funnel investors into USA equities.

Investors opened 2016 with concerns about Chinese economic weakness, a free fall in oil prices and fears of global recession.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 36.21 points, or 0.73 percent, at 5,024.85, and moving into positive territory for the year. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at a record high, up 0.3 percent to 2,137.16, which beat its previous record close of 2,130.82 set on May 21, 2015.

The Dow rose 123 points, or 0.7 percent, to 18,350 at 1:01 p.m.

Nintendo soared more than 20 percent on news that its smartphone game debuted at the top of gaming charts. Trading on Monday didn't fit that trend, as seven of the S&P 500's 10 main industries rose with cyclical groups like technology, financial and industrial companies leading gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was trading above its previous record high close in midday trading Tuesday.

Alcoa Inc. climbed 3.9 percent in early NY trading after the aluminum producer reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates. The gains built on a nine percent rise Friday. Stocks are still valued highly compared to historical norms and will face another big test over the next few weeks as USA companies report their second-quarter revenue and profit figures.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 25.25 points, or 0.56 percent, on volume of 23,029 contracts.

Earnings are expected to have fallen 5.0 percent last quarter compared to a year earlier. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.5%.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 gained 1.4 percent, while Germany's DAX was up 1.5 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 65 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $44.76 a barrel in NY. Brent crude, a standard for worldwide oil prices, rose $1.99 to $48.24 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading in NY, wholesale gasoline rose one cent to 1.38 United States dollars a gallon, heating oil was flat at 1.42 U.S. dollars a gallon and natural gas dropped 10 cents, or 3.5%, to 2.70 USA dollars.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart on Tuesday, helped by higher oil prices and improved global risk sentiment as political tensions eased in Britain, Japan prepared more stimulus, and USA stocks hit a record high.

At the same time, oil prices were in the black, with West Texas Intermediate up 1.9% to $45.63 a barrel and Brent crude 2.3% firmer at $47.33.