Tech companies and banks led stocks higher on Wall Street on Tuesday, erasing most of the market’s losses following a wide sell-off the day before.
The rally, which lost momentum in the last hour of trading, left the S&P 500 up 1.1%. About 73% of the companies in the benchmark rose.
Tech stocks did the heavy lifting for the broader market, which helped push the Nasdaq up 1.3%, its biggest gain since August 23. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 3.6% and Microsoft 2%.
Communications actions also made solid gains after losing ground the day before. Netflix grew 5.2%. Utilities and real estate stocks were the only ones lagging behind the S&P 500.
The gains mark a reversal in the overall market trajectory in recent weeks. The S&P 500 fell 4.8% in September, its first monthly decline since January. After steadily losing ground since reaching an all-time high on September 2, the index slipped below its 100-day moving average of 4,354 on Tuesday. This sends a signal to traders that the index has reached “A good level of support for stocks to trade higher,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management.
“Today’s activity is mostly in response to the weakness we’ve experienced over the past 10 days or so,” he said.
The S&P 500 gained 45.26 points to 4,345.72. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 311.75 points, or 0.9%, to 34,314.67, and the Nasdaq gained 178.35 points to 14,433.83.
Small business stocks also posted gains. The Russell 2000 Index gained 10.89 points, or 0.5%, to 2,228.36.
Bond yields have gained ground. The 10-year Treasury rose to 1.53% from 1.49% on Monday night. Rising bond yields have helped banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America rose 2% and Citigroup added 1.7%.
Energy prices continued to rise. US oil rose 1.7% to $ 78.93 a barrel. Natural gas futures jumped 9.5%. Rising energy prices have pushed gasoline prices up steadily. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is $ 3.20, up more than $ 1 from a year ago, according to AAA.
Rising energy prices helped push up oil company shares. Chevron rose 1.1% and Hess rose 1.6%.
A wide range of businesses focused on consumer services has gained traction following an encouraging update on the service sector, which is the largest part of the US economy. The Institute for Supply Management said the sector continued to grow in September and at a faster pace than economists expected. Chipotle rose 1.4% and Carmax gained 3%.
The market has been choppy for weeks as investors try to assess how the economy will continue its recovery with COVID-19 and the highly contagious delta variant that is dragging down consumer spending and job growth. Inflation concerns have been at the root of much of the up-and-down swings in tech companies and the broader market.
Rising inflation prompted companies from Nike to Sherwin-Williams to moderate their sales forecasts and warn investors that higher costs would hurt financial results. Supply chain disruptions and delays, as well as rising raw material costs, are among the main challenges businesses face as they try to continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Persistent pandemic and global supply chain issues prompted International Monetary Fund to cut forecast for global growth this year.
Yet Wall Street still expects solid corporate profit growth when the third quarter earnings season kicks off later this month. S&P 500 companies are expected to post a 27.7% increase in profits for the July-September quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet.
“We are now on the doorstep of the third quarter releases, which we believe will show earnings increasing, and this is a basis for stocks to tend to rise,” Sandven said.
Facebook grew 2.1%. The stock fell nearly 5% on Monday as the company suffered a global outage and faced political fallout after a former employee told “60 Minutes” that the company had always chosen its own interests rather than the public good. Former employee Frances Haugen testified before Congress Tuesday.
European stock markets rose, while Asian markets were mostly down.