All three top Wall Street tickers pointed north at the close on Tuesday, extending gains from Friday with the S&P 500 enjoying its biggest two-session gain since late August, as investors favoured this month's sold-off stocks in sectors like like finance and technology.
US and Canadian bourses were closed on Monday on account of public holidays in both nations.
The S&P500 index closed up 1.65% at 1,895.58 the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.3% to 4,435.96 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4% to 16,196.41.
Even an edge lower by oil prices - the West Texas Intermediate down 1.1% at US$29.12 - was not enough to take away from the day's stockmarket gains.
Eight of the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 on Tuesday are down at least 25% over the last 12 months. The top gainers in the broad index included ADT Corp (NYSE:ADT), up 47%, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) rising 17% and Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) up 15%.
One of the big movers late in the session was Nasdaq-listed internet marketplace Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) which surged by 46% after Chinese rival Alibaba snapped up a 5.6% stake. Groupon shares closed up 41% at US$4.08.
Stocks were adding to early gains in lunchtime trading, despite the oil price taking a turn for the worse.
The S&P 500 was up 24 points (1.3%), while the Dow Jones average was 172 points to the good (1.1%) at16,146. The Nasdaq Composite showed both a clean pair of heels, racing 77 points (1.8%) higher to 4,415.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell 18 cents to US$29.26 a barrel in the morning session, despite reports of an agreement by Russia and three Opec members not to lift crude oil output production above January's levels.
The voice over internet protocol specialist reported US$0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of US$0.20.
Shares in GoGo (NASDAQ:GOGO), the in-flight provider of Wi-Fi, fell to earth with a bump as American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) signalled its intention to terminate its agreement and switch to rival ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT). ViaSat's shares rose 11%.
US markets have got off to the expected flying start, albeit not as convincingly as had been expected.
Bolstered by reports of an agreement among a number of major oil producers not to crank up output any further, the S&P 500 rose 17 points to 1,882 in the first half-hour of trading.
The Dow Jones average was up 110 at 16,083 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17 at 1,882.
Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela have announced they do not intend to increase crude oil output above January’s levels so long as other major oil producers followed suit. The oil price reacted positively at first, but later disappointment set in that a cut in output had not been agreed.
Optimism was also tempered by the Empire State manufacturing index, which remained in negative territory for the seventh month in a row in February, clocking in at -16.6, versus January's reading of -19.4.
Economists had predicted a reading of around -12.0.
Apollo is offering $42 a share in cash, $1.41 above the current share price, for the security & monitoring products outfit.
The curiously-named Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE:BBW) climbed 11% to $13.43 despite reporting a 5.6% slide in like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter, and an easing in the retail gross margin of one percentage point to 51.2% from a year earlier. The company reiterated its outlook for the current financial year.
Markets are set to return from the long weekend on the front foot, having missed out on the rise in global markets on Monday.
Judging by spread betting quotes, the Dow Jones average is set to open 150 points or so higher at around 16,125 while the broader-based S&P 500 is heading for an 18 point advance to 1,883.
Oil prices have had an interesting morning already, as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela have announced they would not increase crude-oil output above January’s levels so long as other major oil producers follow suit.
The US benchmark, West Texas sweet, light crude for March delivery rose to $31.53 a barrel from last night's close of $29.44 but has fallen back below $30 to $29.75, as the market has been hoping for a cut rather than a continuation of the status quo.
Ahead of the bell, updates are expected from Burger King owner Restaurant Brands (NYSE:QSR) and foods group Hormel Foods (LON:HRL).