WellCare hit a 52-week high and Centene a record high on speculation the two companies may be takeover targets. According to a report in Modern Healthcare, the CEO of Ascension Health said last week the company was in talks to acquire an 18 state insurer.
Aeropostale gained ground on news it secured a $150 million credit facility from private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Riverbed Technology gained ground after Elliott Management, which owns a 10.6 percent stake, sent a letter to Riverbed's board, demanding that it engage in takeover talks. The company rejected its $21 a share bid earlier this year.
IBM lost ground on news China would no longer use its servers in the country. IBM later said it was unaware of any policy, according to Bloomberg.
NRG Energy advanced after being upgraded to "conviction buy" from "buy" at Goldman Sachs.
Momentum stocks Priceline, Alexion, Tesla, Expedia and Facebook all moved higher.
Netflix moved lower after the movie-streaming company picked up Sony animated films from Starz.
BioCryst soared on news its experimental drug to treat a rare immune disorder succeeded in a mid-stage trial.
Palo Alto Networks rose after Nomura Securities upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral" with a price target of $80 on the back of the company's strong fundamentals.
JinkoSolar gained ground after the Chinese Solar Panel maker posted a quarterly net profit on rising shipments to the U.S. and Japan.
Cisco Systems moved higher after Deutsche Bank upgrade the stock to "buy" from "hold" and increased its price target to $30 from $25.
General Electric gained slightly. CEO Jeff Immelt is facing a public French parliamentary grilling later Tuesday over his plan to buy the power unit of engineering group Alstom.
Omnicom and Twitter both moved higher after reaching an advertising deal worth $230 million over two years.
—By CNBC's Rich Fisherman.