By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) – Wall Street rose sharply on Tuesday, elevating the S&P 500 to a modest gain for the year as Amazon & Apple led tech stocks higher.
All 10 major S&P sectors ended with gains, led by a 1.34-percent rise in the technology sector <.SPLRCT>, its strongest performance since the start of the month.
p>Following a recent selloff over concerns approximately potentially soft iPhone sales, Apple <AAPL.O> jumped 1.80 percent & was the biggest influence on the S&P 500 & Nasdaq.
Amazon <AMZN.O> climbed 2.78 percent & closed at a record high of $693.97. The online retailer recorded more than 3 million new Prime memberships in the third week of December, indicating strong holiday demand.
The health index <.SPXHC> jumped 1.22 percent, led by a 1.26 percent gain in Pfizer <PFE.N>.
"Tech stocks, & some healthcare stocks, can deliver top-line growth in a situation where a lot of other companies have to generate earnings through cost-cutting or share buybacks. What youâ€™re seeing there is a bid for growth," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
Chevron <CVX.N> rose 0.98 percent, helping push the S&P energy sector <.SPNY> up 0.69 percent after oil prices edged up on the prospects of colder weather in Europe & North America, raising hopes of a short-term uptick in the tepid demand that has plagued the commodity this year.
Data on Tuesday indicated consumer sentiment was improving, with the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence for December up at 96.5, beating the 93.8 expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended 1.1 percent higher at 17,720.98 points while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 1.06 percent to 2,078.36.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 1.33 percent to 5,107.94.
Trading was thin with many investors off for the holidays.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.0 billion shares, compared to a 7.5 billion average over the last 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The S&P 500 has now rebounded 11 percent from a steep correction in August that was caused by turmoil in China's stock market & fears approximately a slowdown in its economic growth.
With two trading sessions left in 2015, the S&P 500 was up almost 1 percent for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite was up almost 8 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, however, was down approximately 0.6 percent for the year.
Pep Boys <PBY.N> rose 8.79 percent after the auto parts retailer's board found Carl Icahn's latest offer superior to the deal it accepted from Japan's Bridgestone <5108.T>.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,270 to 798. On the Nasdaq, 1,976 issues rose & 859 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs & no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs & 46 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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