Stocks remained higher in the final hour of trading Thursday as investors snapped up beaten-down stocks following the international trade report and after the Greek Cabinet supported a new round of austerity measures for the debt-ridden nation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained, led by DuPont , Chevron and JPMorgan, after finishing lower for the sixth-consecutive sessionWednesday.
Verizon was the only laggard on the blue-chip index.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled more than 7 percent to trade below 18, its largest daily drop since March 21.
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 are looking to snap a six-day losing streak, the Dow's longest decline since July 2010 and the S&P 500's worst since February 2009.
Energy,materials and financials were the leaders among the key S&P sectors.
“This is much more of a technical rebound and there’s a lot of bargain hunting going on,” according to Kenny Polcari, managing director at ICAP Equities. “You’re going to continue seeing a churn in the markets…We’re in for a slow grind lower over the summer.”
Polcari said 1,290 on the S&P is the next target he is watching, but without any positive macroeconomic news going forward, the index could easily decline to 1,250—which is the March low, and coincidentally the 200-day moving average.
Banks traded higher across the board, with Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs gaining more than 2 percent, after slumping in the recent weeks. The sector is the worst performer so far this year. Even Morgan Stanley gained after Rochdale lowered its price target on the financial giant to $28 from $37.50.
Materials and ag-related stocks such as Deere and CNH climbed following the USDA's monthly crop production report, which lowered projected corn surplus and acres planted and helped send futures to a record high. Monsanto shares climbed after the firm's board approved a dividend of 28 per share.
On the tech front, Texas Instruments cut its earnings and revenue forecast, blaming the shortfall on major client Nokia's