U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday in a light volume session, erasing initial declines as investors moved into sectors that lost ground after Japan's earthquake as the quarter draws to a close.
The S&P 500 index has risen 4.5 percent in the first quarter and was on track for its seventh positive quarter in the last eight.
Technology and retail stocks were among the better- performing sectors on Tuesday, as investors found value in stocks that fell in the pullback following the earthquake. The S&P Information Technology index <.GSPT> had lost as much as 4 percent in the aftermath of the disaster in Japan, while the S&P Retail index <.RLX> dropped as much as 2.1 percent.
The S&P Information Technology Index was up 0.5 percent on Tuesday and the S&P Retail Index was up 1.1 percent.
A lot of stocks got taken down sharply as a result of what was going on in Japan, and very unfairly, particularly in the technology space -- and you are seeing technology and retail kind of lead the charge higher. said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Home Depot Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 60.55 points, or 0.50 percent, to 12,258,43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 5.15 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,315.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 19.30 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,749.98.
Investors shrugged off economic data that showed U.S. consumer confidence fell in March as households worried about inflation, while home prices dropped for the seventh straight month in January.
On the downside, Apollo Group
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)