U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 halting a three-session drop, as investors took an optimistic stance ahead of Friday's jobs report and fourth-quarter earnings, which start in earnest this week.
"It's interesting that the market has rallied so much without so much to bite on," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "We're basically getting back much of what we lost the last few days on no news, or on a trade report that is not usually market moving," said Luschini.
But, "given the bullish bias that investors have had, maybe the last three days were the aberration, and not today," said Luschini. "There is no real good explanation for that either," he adds of the recent decline.
Convergys rallied after saying it would purchase Stream Global Services for $820 million; Palo Alto Networks jumped after the computer-security firm agreed to acquire Morta Security for an undisclosed sum. Netflix declined after getting hit with a downgrade. Micron Technology climbed after Roth Capital increased its price target on the stock by $4 to $25. The company's quarterly results are expected after the market close.