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US STOCKS-Wall St Bounces Back after Tumultuous Week

Monday, 12 February 2018 05:08 PM

* Stocks rebound after Friday's test of S&P 200-day moving avg.

* Vix fear index ends at lowest point since Feb. 2

* Materials, industrials helped by Trump's spending plan

* Rate-sensitive sectors underperform

* Indexes up: Dow 1.7 pct, S&P 1.39 pct, Nasdaq 1.56 pct (Updates to close, adds commentary)

By Sinéad Carew

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes rebounded on Monday with broad-based gains as investors regained some confidence after U.S. equities' biggest weekly drop in two years, but strategists stopped short of calling an end to the market pullback.

The announcement of President Donald Trump's budget, including an infrastructure spending plan, helped sectors such as S&P materials and industrials.

But the bigger factor was likely the S&P's test and rebound from a key technical level on Friday when it briefly fell 11.8 percent from its Jan. 26 record and below its 200-day moving average during that session, according to strategists.

"Investors probably were mulling things over the weekend and concluded that the economy is fairly strong, earnings are holding up, so there’s no particular reason to panic or sell. So some money probably came back into the market," said John Carey, portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in Boston.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 410.37 points, or 1.7 percent, to 24,601.27, the S&P 500 gained 36.45 points, or 1.39 percent, to 2,656 and the Nasdaq Composite added 107.47 points, or 1.56 percent, to 6,981.96.

Michael Purves, chief global strategist at Weeden & Co in New York, said Monday's move showed "big, fast, money saying, 'Wait a second, buy this dip.'"

"You test the key support level and go back and test it again, which is what we did on Friday," he said.

But while last week's panic selling appeared to be done, strategists were not calling an end to the pullback. The S&P still closed 7.6 percent below its Jan. 26 record closing high. It confirmed a correction on Thursday, when it dropped 10 percent below the record.

Jeff Schulze, investment strategist, at Clearbridge Investments, in New York is expecting more volatility "as the tug-of-war from short-term negative price momentum is put up against the long-term fundamentals."

He said "the long-term fundamentals will win out, but I think volatility will also be part of that equation.”

All the S&P 500's major 11 sectors rose, though bond-proxy sectors real estate, utilities and telecommunications services underperformed as investors monitored rising interest rates after U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hit a new four-year high of 2.902 earlier in the day.

The S&P materials sector was the biggest percentage gainer with a 2.1 percent rise followed by a 1.8 percent gain in information technology

Stocks were helped a little by Trump's budget proposal for fiscal 2019, which includes $200 billion for infrastructure spending, more than $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement, as well as $716 billion for military programs, including the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, ended down 3.45 points at 25.61, its lowest close since Feb. 2.

The market took fright after strong wage-growth data on Feb. 2 raised the specter of rising inflation and fears of accelerated interest rate hikes, which ignited a rally in bond yields and a sell-off in stocks.

The S&P's biggest boosts from single stocks came from Apple Inc, which rose 4 percent, and Amazon.com, which ended up 3.5 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.80-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.90-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and eight new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new highs and 43 new lows.

About 8.13 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 8.5 billion average for the last 20 trading days. (Additional reporting by April Joyner, Megan Davies, Herbert Lash, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Caroline Valetkevitch in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, Sujata Rao in London; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski)

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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* Stocks rebound after Friday's test of S&P 200-day moving avg.* Vix fear index ends at lowest point since Feb. 2* Materials, industrials helped by Trump's spending plan* Rate-sensitive sectors underperform* Indexes up: Dow 1.7 pct, S&P 1.39 pct, Nasdaq 1.56 pct (Updates to...
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2018-08-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 05:08 PM
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