Wall St rises as battered consumer, bank stocks gain favour | Reuters

Wall Street gained on Tuesday, extending a rally from Friday, as investors snapped up beaten-down consumer discretionary, industrial and financial stocks.

Following an extended holiday weekend, all 10 S&P sectors were higher in afternoon trading. Tech, healthcare and materials also posted gains of more than 1 percent.

Slumping oil prices, fears of a China-led slowdown in global growth and uncertainty over central bank monetary policies have roiled the markets this year. The S&P 500 is down about 7.4 percent in 2016.

"I think you can make a case that a lot of stocks are oversold, and therefore they should be drawing some buyers from the sidelines," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "The question is if we can sustain this rally for several days."

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 206.06 points, or 1.29 percent, to 16,179.9, the S&P 500 gained 28.73 points, or 1.54 percent, to 1,893.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 90.45 points, or 2.09 percent, to 4,427.96.

Investors are holding the most cash since November 2001, which should be interpreted as an "unambiguous buy" signal, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in its February global fund managers survey.

"We are seeing some bargain hunting but it isn't enough as yet to reverse the negative sentiment," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

U.S. equity market performance has been closely tied to oil prices as the commodity's 1-1/2-year slide has deepened. Oil prices erased early gains on Tuesday after Russia and Saudi Arabia dashed expectations of an outright supply cut, but some investors took solace from the fact that the producers were in discussions.

The S&P energy sector climbed 0.8 percent, but was underperforming the broader index.

Boeing shares gained 3.2 percent at $112.13 and were the biggest boost to the Dow.

ADT surged 48.5 percent to $39.91 after private equity firm Apollo Global Management agreed to buy the electronic security services provider for $7 billion. Apollo was up 4.9 percent at $14.06.

Community Health Systems slumped 25.9 percent to $13.85 and weighed on other hospital operators after posting an unexpected quarterly loss.

Groupon surged 41.2 percent to $4.08 after Alibaba disclosed a 32.9 million share stake in the company. Alibaba was up 9.7 percent at $66.79.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,464 to 601, for a 4.10-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 2,172 issues rose and 609 fell for a 3.57-to-1 ratio favouring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 8 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 58 new lows.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Meredith Mazzilli)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Feb 16, 2016 23:47 PM

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