Stocks rose in a choppy market on Tuesday, led by gains in technology shares that offset worries the Eurozone's debt troubles will spread.
Shares of Apple were among the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq, which jumped 1 percent and outpaced gains in the Dow and S&P 500 gauges. Filings after Monday's close showed both Soros Fund Management and hedge fund Greenlight Capital raised their stakes in Apple and Microsoft .
The S&P 500 technology index was up 1.4 percent, while shares of Apple gained 2.3 percent to $388.14 and shares of Microsoft rose 1.1 percent to $26.85.
That took some of the sting off euro zone worries, fueled as the yield on Italy's 10-year benchmark bonds leaped above 7 percent, pushing the government's borrowing costs to a level widely seen as unsustainable.
Italy's prime minister-designate raced to assemble a new government so he could speed up reforms and reverse a collapse in market confidence.
Investors need to get their hands around some better confidence that things are moving in the right direction in the euro zone, said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.17 points, or 0.54 percent, at 12,144.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 8.64 points, or 0.69 percent, at 1,260.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 28.96 points, or 1.09 percent, at 2,686.18.
When Italian bond yields rose above 7 percent last week, the S&P 500 fell nearly 4 percent in one day. U.S. stock market trading has been marked by heightened volatility recently as much of it has been tied to news and market moves out of Europe.
Sentiment also was buoyed by data offering more hope that the U.S. economy would avoid another recession. Retail sales were stronger-than-expected in October while activity in the New York manufacturing sector rose in November, ending five straight months of contraction.
Home Depot Inc. raised its fiscal-year outlook for the third time in six months. However, shares of the home improvement store chain edged down 0.2 percent to $38.19.
In other earnings, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s quarterly profit missed expectations as the economy continues to weigh on customers in the United States, its largest division. Shares of the world's largest retailer dropped 2.6 percent to $57.33.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)