U.S. stocks closed more than 1 percent higher in light volume trade Tuesday, as the tech sector led broad gains amid some stabilization in oil and commodity prices. ( Tweet This )
The S&P 500 climbed back into positive territory for 2015 as information technology gained about 1.3 percent to lead all 10 sectors higher. The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite topped their 50-day moving averages.
"This isn't a high-conviction rally. It's the Facebook's and Amazons. It's the FANG stocks — Netflix and Google. There's not a lot of people around," said Lawrence McDonald, managing director, head of the U.S. Macro Strategies group at Société Générale. "If you're in an equity seat, a portfolio manager, if you see oil rallying, that reduces systemic risk. What happens is people are just chasing performance (into the) year-end. If we're going to be up 1 percent, people want to participate in that."
The Nasdaq composite outperformed as biotech and major tech stocks advanced. Amazon closed up nearly 2.8 percent after hitting a fresh all-time high in intraday trade. The stock is up more than 120 percent year-to-date, second only to Netflix as the top S&P 500 performer for the year so far.
Shares of Qualcomm closed up about 2.6 percent amid news the chipmaker entered new license agreements with two Chinese firms.
"Generally a risk-on mode. The correlation has been such ... that when oil is up, the markets take on a risk-on mode because (oil's) the biggest risk," said Ilya Feygin, managing director at WallachBeth Capital.
"There really isn't much else going on other than this volatility in Asia and commodities," he said.