U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, rebounding after the S&P 500's largest decline in a month, with social-media shares helping lift the technology sector and as investors pondered when the Federal Reserve would start hiking interest rates.
"Technology is one of our favorite spots; (along with) any sector that does well in an economic upturn. There's an anticipation of a pretty good upgrade cycle for both consumers and business," said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Apple rose, halting a two-session drop, its shares up 3.1 percent a day after the provider of consumer technology unveiled a smartwatch and payment gadgets.
"Apple is an innovator again. Yesterday they said, 'hey, we're coming out with new products, and of course you absolutely need them. That's what Apple does best, convince people to buy products they didn't know they needed," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
The decline in the cost of crude and a rise in consumer confidence bodes well for retail sales, analysts say.
"Consumer confidence is high; we're going to see that reflected in the retail-sales number," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management, referring to August numbers to be released on Friday.
The "prospect of lower gas prices is a good thing for the consumer, you may go out for dinner, or spring for one of those new smartphones. You've got consumer confidence at a seven-year high, so consumers are feeling a little wealthier," said Kravetz.
"The economy will be strong enough to support higher rates," said Gaffney, who believes the Fed will begin hiking rates in the second quarter of next year or the start of the third, depending on the health of the U.S. economy.
The central bank is measuring the progress of the recovery as it readies to conclude its bond purchases and considers raising rates. The Fed begins its next two-day policy session in a week.