Stocks overcame a late-afternoon burst of selling and closed higher Tuesday, as gains in big technology companies outweighed losses in banks and elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% after being up 1.1% earlier. It's the second straight sizable gains for the benchmark index following its worst week since June, the AP reports. The S&P 500 rose 17.66 points to 3,401.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 2.27 points, or less than 0.1%, to 27,995.60. The index swung between a gain of 237 points and a loss of 61. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with tech stocks, climbed 133.67 points, or 1.2%, to 11,190.32. Stocks of smaller companies eked out a tiny gain. The Russell 2000 index of small-caps picked up 1.18 points, or 0.1%, to 1,538.15.
High-flying technology stocks, which have been driving the market higher throughout the pandemic, abruptly lost altitude earlier this month amid worries that their prices had simply climbed too high, even after taking into account their tremendous growth. But the past two days has marked a reversal of that trend, with shares in technology companies and others that play a key role in online access and commerce climbing again. Microsoft rose 1.6% Tuesday, while Amazon gained 1.7% and Zoom Video climbed 1.8%. Because tech companies have grown so massive, their movements alone can dictate the market’s performance more than ever. Tech stocks as a group account for nearly 28% of the S&P 500, and they’re up 3.1% this week after slumping more than 4% in each of the prior two weeks.
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