Stocks ended significantly higher by Tuesday’s closing bell, with indices rallying to gains big enough to recuperate most of the losses incurred during the previous day’s sell-off.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 1.08 percent to 1,838.88 points, while the Dow Industrials were up 0.71 percent for a finish at 16,373.86. The NASDAQ rose 1.69 percent to 4,183.02.
Investors on Wall Street took heart from the Commerce Department’s early-morning release of retail sales data for the December holiday season that handily beat expectations on a year-over-year spending increase of 4.1 percent. Retail spending for the full year of 2013 increased 4.2 percent from 2012.
On the S&P 500, major tech companies made some of the highest-volume gains of the day, with Facebook (FB) , Intel (INTC) , and Microsoft (MSFT) all closing substantially higher. Bank of America (BAC) rose on the heaviest of the day’s trading however, up over 2 percent ahead of its heavily anticipated earnings report ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind its colleagues, but also enjoyed a strong day as Intel (INTC) jumped nearly 4 percent after an analyst at JPMorgan (JPM) upgraded the company’s stock to “overweight” on expectations of a “relatively stable” 2014 PC market.
On the NASDAQ, Google (GOOG) added over 2 percent after the previous day’s late announcement of the tech giant’s acquisition of high-tech thermostat/smoke alarm designer Nest in a move that was widely interpreted as an astute move on the company’s part to get a head start on the forthcoming “internet of things”.
Despite the day’s gains, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) unloaded for the second day in a row, shedding about 30 percent of its share price by the end of trading after the stock more than sextupled the previous week. Meanwhile, Tesla (TSLA) bulls seemed completely oblivious to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s announcement that the company would be forced to recall a significant number of its electric cars due to renewed fears of the possibility of fires, this time originating in the Model S’s battery-charging system.