Stocks rose on Tuesday, recovering from the previous session's steep sell-off, as Amazon led shares of Big Tech higher.
Tuesday marked the first time in five days that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted a daily gain. The Dow also snapped a three-day losing streak.
Amazon shares rose 5.7% — their biggest one-day rally since July 20 — after a Bernstein analyst upgraded the e-commerce giant to buy from hold, noting the recent pullback offers an attractive "entry point" for investors. Facebook and Microsoft were both up more than 2% along with Alphabet shares. Netflix gained 0.8%.
Traders also digested remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who reiterated the central bank will support the economy "for as long as it takes." Powell added that, while the path forward "continues to be highly uncertain," economic activity has "picked up."
The major averages were lower earlier in the day after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. He noted the country was at a "perilous turning point" and ordered bars and restaurants to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The restrictions also expand the list of places requiring people wear a mask.
"Coronavirus concerns have resurfaced, worrying investors that a reversal in reopening progress could be near," Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist for Ally Invest, said in a note. "More and more uncertainty is arising as we get closer to the election but no closer to Congressional fiscal relief. But we're still optimistic this dip will be bought sooner rather than later."
Wall Street was coming off a sharp drop in the previous session, with the Dow posting its biggest one-day loss since Sept. 8 on Monday.
Those losses were driven in part by the prospects of further U.S. coronavirus fiscal stimulus becoming bleaker as lawmakers brace for a potentially bitter Supreme Court confirmation fight as President Donald Trump rushes to nominate a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday.
September has been a tough month on Wall Street. The S&P 500 is down more than 5% month to date and the Nasdaq has dropped 6.9% in that time. The Dow has lost 4% in September.
"There's no reason to think this won't keep being a choppy market," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "Coronavirus overshadow everything right now. There's not end date for that. You don't know when you'll get a resolution to that."
Shares of Tesla dropped 5.6% after CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that the electric carmaker's "Battery Day" event would not reach "serious high-volume production" until 2022, which disappointed investors and analysts.
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