Wall Street’s main indexes rose on March 26, as Apple and chipmakers boosted technology shares, while higher oil prices lifted energy companies.
The gains come after two sessions of declines, triggered by fears of slowing global economic growth and an inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve for the first time since 2007 that followed the Federal Reserve’s stunning about-face on interest rate increases.
“Markets are higher despite worries of slowing global growth, but they have been pretty resilient all the way along so it’s kind of hard to bring them down at this point,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago
“Investors are looking at names that can provide growth even in a slowing environment and tech stocks fit that bill.”
The tech sector added 0.50 percent, helped by gains in Apple Inc. and chipmakers, with the Philadelphia chip index also rising 0.50 percent.
Apple rose 0.84 percent, a day after the iPhone maker unveiled its video streaming service, a credit card, and an online gaming arcade.
On Mach 26, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were off 15-month lows and a closely watched part of the yield curve was less inverted.
Stabilizing yields helped financials rise 0.23 percent and the sector was set to snap a five-day losing streak, with the S&P banking sector up 0.29 percent.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher, led by energy’s 1.23 percent gain, as oil prices rose on OPEC supply cuts and expectations of lower U.S. inventories.
Investors also tracked U.S.-China trade talks, with U.S. officials traveling to Beijing for a new round of high-level negotiations, scheduled to start on March 28.
Markets also looked past weak consumer confidence numbers for March, as well as housing data that showed U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February.
Nvidia Corp. rose 1.61 percent after brokerage Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on the chip designer with an “overweight” rating.
Viacom Inc jumped 9.19 percent after the New York Post reported the company and CBS Corp. were rekindling merger talks. CBS shares rose 4.68 percent.
Carnival Corp. tumbled 8.53 percent, the most on the S&P, after the world’s largest cruise operator cut its annual profit forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.87-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 36 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 29 new lows.
By Shreyashi Sanyal & Amy Caren Daniel