Wall Street ended sharply higher on Wednesday following its recent sell-off, helped by falling Treasury yields, while Apple dropped on concerns about demand for iPhones.
The strong gains came after the S&P 500 on Tuesday closed at its lowest since late 2020, dragging U.S. stocks further into bear market territory.
Interest rate-sensitive megacaps Microsoft, Amazon and Meta Platforms rallied for much of the session as the yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell over 0.26 percentage point in its biggest one-day drop since 2009.
Also pushing yields lower on Treasuries with maturities six months and longer, the Bank of England said it would buy long-dated British bonds in a move aimed at restoring financial stability in markets rocked globally by the fiscal policy of the new government in London.
"The yield on the two-year Treasury has gone up persistently over the course of the last several weeks, and for the first time we've seen it go down for two days in a row, and that has given equities a breather," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Wealth.
Investors have been keenly listening to comments from Federal Reserve officials about the path of monetary policy, with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic on Wednesday backing another 75-basis-point interest rate hike in November. The Fed will likely get borrowing costs to where they need to be by early next year, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said.
U.S. stocks have been battered in 2022 by worries that an aggressive push by the Fed to raise borrowing costs could throw the economy into a downturn.
Apple Inc dropped after Bloomberg reported the company is dropping plans to increase production of its new iPhones this year after an anticipated surge in demand failed to materialize.
Apple has been a relative outperformer in 2022's stock market sell-off, down about 16% in the year to date, versus the S&P 500's 22% loss.
On Wednesday, energy and communication services were among top-performing S&P 500 sector indexes.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 71.20 points, or 1.95%, to end at 3,718.49 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 218.56 points, or 2.02%, to 11,048.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 551.15 points, or 1.89%, to 29,686.14.
Biogen Inc surged after saying its experimental Alzheimer's drug, developed with Japanese partner Eisai Co Ltd , succeeded in slowing cognitive decline.
Eli Lilly & Co, which is also developing an Alzheimer's drug, also jumped, and it was among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 index.
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