U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesday as an unexpected surge in February housing starts gave investors a rare bit of good economic news, and an upbeat broker comment on bellwether Cisco Systems drove technology shares sharply higher.
A nearly 3 percent rise in U.S. crude oil futures boosted energy shares. Exxon Mobil
Retailer Home Depot's
The Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> rose 5.1 percent after data showed housing starts jumped 22.2 percent in February, the biggest percentage rise since January 1990, and also the first increase since last April.
Among home builders' stocks, top gainers included Ryland Group
Optimism about the banking sector has helped the market
rebound from 12-year lows hit earlier this month. JPMorgan
The rally in cyclicals is partially based on the housing news this morning, said Michael Koskuba, portfolio manager and analyst at Victory Capital Management in New York.
One of the issues is these stocks have been so beaten up and expectations are so low that any whiff of good news is sending (them) up to higher levels.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 90.88 points, or 1.26 percent, to 7,307.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose gained 14.08 points, or 1.87 percent, to 767.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 31.87 points, or 2.27 percent, to 1,435.89.
The Nasdaq was driven higher by a 2.5 percent rise in shares of networking equipment maker Cisco
On the downside, Alcoa's
An earnings warning from steelmaker Nucor
(Editing by Jan Paschal)