Stocks rose in early trading on Wednesday, bouncing back after five days of heavy losses on the S&P 500 brought the benchmark index down more than 4 percent.
The S&P closed Tuesday below its 50-day moving average for the first time since December, and the level provided technical resistance in Wednesday's rebound.
The 50-day moving average on the S&P 500 index is now just above 1,373, coinciding with today's session high.
Sectors associated with economic growth led the way as they became attractive to bargain hunters. The S&P financial sector index <.GSPF> rose 1.5 percent with Bank of America
Tuesday marked the largest daily percentage decline on the S&P in four months, and investors will evaluate if the slide presents an opportunity for those who missed the market gains in the first three months of the year.
I see it as normal for the market to take a break after its best first quarter since 1998. If that's the only blip we see, it was pretty shallow, said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 103.96 points, or 0.82 percent, to 12,819.89. The S&P 500 Index <.SPX> gained 13.54 points, or 1.00 percent, to 1,372.13. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 30.65 points, or 1.02 percent, to 3,021.87.
I don't think Alcoa earnings are going to set the tone and turn this around, but earnings expectations have been raised a bit, analysts had gotten a bit too pessimistic, Zaro said.
Glass container maker Owens Illinois
U.S.-traded shares of Nokia
Bearish analysts, however, see more declines ahead as a result of an overextended market that has lost its footing as the euro zone debt crisis resurfaces and U.S. economic indicators soften.
Still, the economy would have to take a fairly dramatic turn for the Federal Reserve to launch another round of monetary stimulus, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said.
Signals that the Fed was not keen to push for more stimulus triggered the market pullback that started last week.
Investors have an eye on developments in Indonesia after a massive earthquake and aftershocks struck off its coast, bringing back memories of a 2004 tsunami that killed about 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
The low-volume Market Vector Indonesia index ETF
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Theodore d'Affllisio)