By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes ended higher on Wednesday to snap a three-session losing skid as investors jumped back in to take advantage of the pullback in technology-related stocks, a day after the Nasdaq confirmed correction territory.
Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc shares rebounded after suffering their biggest one-day percentage drop in the prior session, while Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) – the top three U.S. public companies by market capitalization – each rose by at least 3%.
Other stay-at-home winners such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc also climbed, a day after the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended 10% below its Sept. 2 record closing high, commonly known as a correction. The S&P tech sector notched its biggest one-day percentage gain since April.
“It’s certainly a massive, surprising rebound,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management in Chicago.
“On one level it looks speculative but on another it is almost defensive because we know these companies will survive no matter what COVID throws at us.”
Analysts also said the Nasdaq’s ability to hold its 50-day moving average, a technical support level, was key in reversing the market’s direction.
Unofficially the rose 439.78 points, or 1.6%, to 27,940.67, the S&P 500 gained 67.22 points, or 2.02%, to 3,399.06 and the added 293.87 points, or 2.71%, to 11,141.56.
U.S. stocks have become susceptible to volatility as market leadership has narrowed during the year to a handful of heavyweight tech-related stocks as traders bid up their shares in a rally that triggered a Nasdaq-led rebound for Wall Street from its pandemic lows in March.
For a graphic on The taller they grow … The taller they grow …: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/SPX/yzdvxxeorvx/chart.png
The recent pullback has also been driven by worries that sellers of call options would unwind massive amounts of stocks they bought as hedges during the rally.
Media reports last week said SoftBank Group Corp has made big bets on equity derivatives tied to tech firms.
In a sign of growing unease about the positioning in tech stocks, skew, a measure of demand for protective put options in relation to call options, has risen sharply.
Market volatility is expected to further increase in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, with September and October also historically turbulent months of the year.
In a reversal from the prior three sessions, growth stocks jumped to outperform the climb in value stocks on the day.
Market participants were watching for signs of a widening in market breadth, supported by improving economic data.
AstraZeneca (NYSE:) Plc could resume trials for its experimental coronavirus vaccine next week, the Financial Times reported, after the British drugmaker paused global trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Still, its U.S.-listed shares fell.
Tiffany & Co tumbled after French luxury goods giant LVMH warned it was set to walk away from its planned $16 billion takeover of the U.S. jeweler.