Tech, Banks Powering Stocks Tuesday

(AP) -- Stocks rose broadly in morning trading Tuesday on Wall Street, erasing the market's modest losses from a day earlier.

Technology companies powered the rally, with chipmakers among the biggest gainers. Nvidia rose 3 percent and Advanced Micro Devices added 1.7 percent.

Health care stocks also notched solid gains. Biogen climbed 4 percent.

Banks got a boost as bond prices headed lower, sending yields slightly higher. That helps banks charge higher interest rates on loans. Wells Fargo gained 1.3 percent.

Energy companies led all sectors in the S&P 500 higher as the price of U.S. crude oil moved above $60 a barrel. Oil hasn't settled above that price since November.

The rally marked a reversal for the market, which started the week on a downbeat note after racking up losses last week as investors' jitters over a global economic slowdown intensified. That led to a troubling drop in long-term bond yields that spooked investors.

On Tuesday the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.43 percent, up from 2.41 percent late Monday. However it's still slightly below the yield on the three-month Treasury bill, which many see as a warning sign of a possible recession.

Despite the market's recent gyrations, the benchmark S&P 500 index is still up more than 12 percent so far in 2019, an unusually strong start to a year, and on course for a solid first quarter for the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 257 points, or 1 percent, to 25,774 as of 11:18 a.m. Eastern Time. The S&P 500 index gained 1 percent and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.1 percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 1.4 percent.

Major European indexes were also headed higher, rebounding from a day earlier.

DISSAPOINTING DATA: Investors mostly shrugged off two new bellwether reports on the economy that fell short of economists' forecasts. The Conference Board, a business research group, said its consumer confidence index fell to 124.1 in March from 131.4 in February.

And the Commerce Department said the number of homes under construction fell 8.7 percent last month as ground breakings for single-family houses declined to their lowest level in nearly two years. Single-family housing starts are running 2.3 percent below last year's pace.

The housing starts data weighed on most homebuilder stocks. Hovnanian Enterprises slid 2.3 percent.

BIG APPLE: Shares in Apple climbed 1.9 percent a day after the consumer electronics giant announced a suite of new services to run on its devices.

The company plans to launch a subscription TV service dubbed Apple TV Plus, which will be ad-free and will compete with big streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Video.

BOARDROOM BRAWL: Bed Bath & Beyond soared 26.7 percent in heavy trading after The Wall Street Journal reported that the troubled retailer is being targeted by three activist investors.

ROUGH SEAS: Carnival slumped 7.3 percent after the cruise line operator's latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street's forecasts. The company also issued a weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings outlook.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 1.8 percent to $59.90 a barrel. Oil has not closed above $60 a barrel since Nov. 9. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 1 percent to $67.48 a barrel.

The pickup in oil prices helped boost energy stocks. Exxon Mobil rose 1.4 percent

(BE)