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Homeus marketsStocks finish higher, with S&P 500 halting three-day losing streak

Stocks finish higher, with S&P 500 halting three-day losing streak

U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 halting a three-session drop, as investors took an optimistic stance ahead of Friday's jobs report and fourth-quarter earnings, which start in earnest this week.

"It's interesting that the market has rallied so much without so much to bite on," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "We're basically getting back much of what we lost the last few days on no news, or on a trade report that is not usually market moving," said Luschini.

But, "given the bullish bias that investors have had, maybe the last three days were the aberration, and not today," said Luschini. "There is no real good explanation for that either," he adds of the recent decline.

Convergys rallied after saying it would purchase Stream Global Services for $820 million; Palo Alto Networks jumped after the computer-security firm agreed to acquire Morta Security for an undisclosed sum. Netflix declined after getting hit with a downgrade. climbed after Roth Capital increased its price target on the stock by $4 to $25. The company's quarterly results are expected after the market close.

Major U.S. Indexes

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 105.84 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,530.94, with leading gains that included 24 of the blue-chip index's 30 components. Deutsche Bank upgraded its view of the insurer's stock to buy from hold. gained after RBC Capital markets hiked the health-care products supplier to outperform from sector perform.

was the Dow's biggest loser, off 1 percent after authorities on Tuesday said the bank would have to pay $1.7 billion to settle charges

The rose 11.11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,837.88, with health care and technology leading gains that included all but one — materials — of its 10 major industry sectors.

The Nasdaq advanced 39.50 points, or 1 percent, to 4,153.18, led by up nearly 90 percent after the company late Monday said one of its experimental drugs helped treat the symptoms of an illness that causes involuntary spasms.

For every share that fell, two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 699 million shares traded. Composite volume hit 3.5 billion.

The U.S. dollar edged higher against the currencies of major trading partners and the 10-year Treasury yield used in determining mortgage rates and other consumer loans fell 2 basis points to 2.945 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gained 46 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $93.05 a barrel; declined $8.40, or 0.7 percent, to $1,229.60.

Ahead of the market's open, stock-index futures held their gains after the Commerce Department reported the trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast as oil imports fell and exports rose, with the gap narrowing to $34.3 billion.


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