Wall St up as bargain hunters snap up beaten-down stocks | Reuters

Wall St up as bargain hunters snap up beaten-down stocks
| Reuters

Wall Street was higher on Tuesday morning, extending a rally from Friday, as cautious investors looked for bargains among beaten-down stocks.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the consumer discretionary index's 1.07 percent rise leading the advancers.

Banks again gained. Bank of America rose 2.3 percent and Citigroup gained 2.7 percent. The S&P financial index posted its largest daily percentage gain since November 2011 on Friday.

Consumer discretionary, technology and health stocks are down more than 9 percent this year. Only the financials' 13 percent drop is worse.

Slumping oil prices, fears of a China-led slowdown in the global economy, uncertainty over the central banks' monetary policies and unflattering U.S. corporate reports have roiled the markets this year. The S&P 500 is down about 8 percent in 2016.

"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.

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

At 10:58 a.m. ET (1558 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.24 points, or 0.52 percent, at 16,057.08.

The S&P 500 was up 13.42 points, or 0.72 percent, at 1,878.2 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 53.08 points, or 1.22 percent, at 4,390.59.

Even a drop in crude oil prices, which has dictated the stock market's move recently, failed to derail stocks.

Crude oil prices reversed course to trade down about 2 percent as an agreement by four of the world's largest producers agreed to freeze output failed to satisfy investors hoping for an outright cut in supply. [O/R]

"We are also seeing a start to the conversation around production cuts in oil, but there's some way to go regarding that. It's a mixed bag for commodities," Hogan said.

ADT surged 49.3 percent to $40.11 after private equity firm Apollo Global Management agreed to buy the electronic security services provider for $7 billion. Apollo was up 0.8 percent at $13.50.

Community Health Systems slumped 28.9 percent to $13.25 and weighed on other hospital operators after posting an unexpected quarterly loss. Tenet Healthcare's 8.7 percent drop was the biggest on the S&P 500.

Groupon surged 33.4 percent to $3.88 after Alibaba disclosed a 32.9 million stake in the company. Alibaba was up 6.7 percent at $64.98.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,149 to 817. On the Nasdaq, 1,983 issues rose and 630 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 10 new highs and 35 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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

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Updated Date: Feb 16, 2016 23:15:11 IST

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