U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite bouncing back from its worst three-day hit since 2011, as investors sought recently hammered social media and Internet shares and braced for quarterly earnings.
"After a few days of some pretty sharp selling my guess is you have some people coming in and testing these levels. You had a pretty severe correction in pockets of the technology sector and biotech, probably due to the run up that has occurred, so we have some good, old-fashioned profit taking, and you have some good, old-fashioned nervousness about what first-quarter earnings are going to look like," said Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
"The market has been kind of dealing with a correction since January; after a really good end to last year, stocks might have been a little ahead of themselves. So stocks that did well the last nine months of last year, that's the profit taking we've seen. Utilities had underperformed, so those yields are more attractive," said Stuart Freeman, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors.
"Recently, investors became more nervous, and started to take profits in stocks that had been piling on; some of the larger bellwether tech companies lost some of their froth. Today, techs are number three out of 10, so they are coming back," said Freeman, referring to the S&P 500's 10 major industry groups.
"The retail investor is still looking at these stocks that went so high so fast. They are still trying to buy into these names like Netflix, and even Apple. I still get questions on Apple, is now the time, long after the professionals have moved on to other targets," said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.
"It's not my style of investing, to buy high and hope to sell higher," she added.