Markets

Dow surges more than 400 points as tech's best day since April sparks a market-wide rally

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Tech stock plunge is a 'good opportunity' for investors to put things in context, strategist says

Stocks ripped higher on Wednesday as tech shares posted their best day in about four months, clawing back some of the steep losses that knocked the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite back below their record highs. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 439.58 points higher, or 1.6%, at 27,940.47. The S&P 500 jumped 2% to 3,398.96 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.7% to 11,141.56. It was the S&P 500's best day since June 5, when it popped 2.6%. The Nasdaq had its biggest one-day gain since April 29, when it surged 3.6%.

At the S&P 500 sector level, tech rallied 3.4% and posted its biggest one-day gain since late April 29. Over the past week, however, the sector is still down 8.4%. 

"We were due for a bounce," said Christian Fromhertz, CEO of Tribeca Trade Group. "We had three days of decent selling and these things tend to get a little overextended." But Fromhertz is not ready to sound the all-clear. "I want to see if this bounce can hold to see if there's real buying underneath it," he said. 

Shares of Tesla, which had their single worst day ever on Tuesday dropping 21%, ended Wednesday's session up more than 10% after a late-day surge. Apple, which lost more than 6% in the previous session, was up by 4%.

Those two stocks, along with Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook, lost $1 trillion in market value over the last three days. All six rebounded Wednesday.

The major averages trimmed their gains in the final minutes of the session after The Wall Street Journal reported ByteDance and the U.S. government were discussing ways to avoid the sale of TikTok's U.S. operations. Walmart and Microsoft — two companies that were in talks to buy TikTok — gave back some of their solid gains. 

'Dip your toe in'

"If you haven't bought anything, maybe you dip your toe in," CNBC's Jim Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." However, he also urged investors be careful because "there is a bubble in a lot of tech stocks that are very hard to try to value."

Wall Street was coming off its worst three-day stretch in months. Over the previous three sessions, the S&P 500 lost nearly 7%. The Nasdaq sold off by more than 10% over the previous three days amid a rotation out of tech and into more beaten-down names. Both benchmarks reached all-time highs in the prior week.

"The megacap tech stocks are no longer invincible," Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, wrote in a note. "The bludgeoning seen in the last few days resulted in sharp pullbacks for these stocks."

Some market experts think tech's recent decline comes from worries the sector's big run-up has made its valuations unsustainable. 

"Some are suggesting this is the start of another dramatic sell-off, similar to the spring of 2000 when the 'tech bubble' burst. I highly doubt that," Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said in an email to CNBC. "I think of this rout not so much as a correction, but as a digestion given that the Nasdaq Composite rose more than 60% from its March bottom in the course of less than six months. All in all, I think this is a healthy period of consolidation after a dramatic run-up."

To be sure, longtime hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller thinks investors should be cautious because the market is currently in a mania driven by easy monetary policy and investor speculation. 

"Everybody loves a party ... but, inevitably, after a big party there's a hangover," Druckenmiller, CEO of Duquesne Family Office, told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Right now, we're in an absolute raging mania. We've got commentators encouraging companies to do stock splits. Companies then go up 50%, 30%, 40% on stock splits. That brings no value, but the stocks go up."

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