Stocks rallied on Wednesday as shares at 12-year lows lured investors to break a five-day sell-off and a jump in oil and other commodities boosted energy and natural resource companies.
Investor optimism was also bolstered by news that China will increase spending in areas such as infrastructure and manufacturing under a second stimulus package. Data suggested that China's economy may also be on the brink of a recovery.
Dow component Caterpillar Inc
The market has taken a real beating this year, so it's very oversold and therefore responsive to any kind of good news it can get, said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville.
The market has to prove that it's finally built in the worst-case scenario for the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 160.25 points, or 2.38 percent, to 6,886.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 16.13 points, or 2.32 percent, to 712.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 33.07 points, or 2.50 percent, to 1,354.08.
For the year to date, however, the Dow and S&P are both down more than 21 percent after recent declines that have seen the indexes fall through key levels.
Financials <.GSPF> were the only group out of the S&P's 10 sectors to fall, losing 2 percent, amid ongoing worries over the fate of the struggling banks. JPMorgan Chase
Oil prices in New York rose 8.7 percent to $45.28 a barrel, while the Reuters-Jefferies CRB <.CRB> index of 19 commodity futures rose 3 percent in its biggest one-day percentage jump since late January.
Shares of Chevron
On Nasdaq, Apple
The rise in big-cap technology stocks also supported gains in chip-makers' shares, pushing the semiconductor index <.SOXX> nearly 5 percent and Broadcom Corp
(Editing by James Dalgleish)