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Benchmarks snapped a three-day losing streak and ended higher on Tuesday after bargain-hunting investors bought momentum and technology stocks. Utilities stocks also jumped after investors favored less-volatile stocks.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.1% to close Tuesday’s trading session at 16,256.14. The Standard & Poor (S&P 500) rose 0.4% to finish at 1,851.96. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index went up 0.8% to 4,112.99. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped 4.4% to settle at 14.89. Total volume for the day was roughly 6.7 billion shares, lower than this month’s average of 6.8 billion. Declining stocks were outnumbered by advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 30% stocks that declined, 66% advanced.
 
The S&P rose above the key technical level of 1,850. The S&P 500 has now returned to the positive zone for the year. Yesterday’s gains came after the benchmarks on Monday suffered their biggest three-day decline since Jan 27 this year. The Nasdaq also gained following a drop of 4.6% over the last three sessions, its steepest three-day decline since November 2011.
 
Benchmarks finished in the green on Tuesday after momentum stocks recovered some of their recent losses. Shares of momentum stocks such as electric car maker Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Internet radio service provider Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE:P) jumped 3.8% and 4.7%, respectively.
 
High-growth stocks from the Consumer Discretionary sector such as online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), online movie rental company Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), online travel company TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) and The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) rose 2.9%, 3.2%, 3.3% and 1.5%, respectively.
 
Selling pressure in technology shares in the last three days had dragged the benchmarks down. Internet Information Provider stocks from the Technology sector such as Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) surged 2.2%, 5.9%, 2.3% and 3.1%, respectively. Overall, the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) rose 0.9%.
 
The Consumer Discret Select Sector SPDR (XLY) rose 1%. Key stocks from the sector such as The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) increased 0.6%, 1.1%, 1.1%, 1% and 0.7% respectively.
 
However, bio-tech stocks failed to recover. Shares of bio-tech companies such as Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) decreased 2.8%, 3.1%, 1.6% and 0.7%, respectively. Overall, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) decreased 0.8%.
 
Investors also bought less-volatile utilities stocks. Top holdings from the Utilities sector such as Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D), Southern Company (NYSE:SO) and Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) surged 1.9%, 2.8%, 1.9%, 1.1% and 2.5%, respectively. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) led the advance among the S&P 500 sectors. The sector rose 1.4%. Overall, 9 out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the green.
 
Investors also focused on earnings results as the day was devoid of any major economic data. Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) announced their first-quarter earnings results and officially kicked-off the earnings season. The earnings per share (EPS) of 9 cents topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 5 cents. However, revenues came in at $5.45 billion, less than expectation of $5.75 billion. Shares of Alcoa rose 0.5%.
 
Financial behemoths JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), as well as retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) are also scheduled to report this week.

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