Nasdaq Surges To Best Closing Level In Over A Month As Tech Stocks Extend Rally

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Stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Monday, extending the significant rebound seen last Friday. With the continued upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in over a month.

The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session late in the day but remained firmly positive. While the Nasdaq soared 223.98 points or 2.0 percent to 11,364.41, the S&P 500 jumped 47.20 points or 1.2 percent to 4,019.81 and the Dow climbed 254.07 points or 0.8 percent to 33,62.56.

Technology stocks helped lead the markets higher once again, contributing to the standout gain by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Within the tech sector, semiconductor stocks turned in a particularly strong performance, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 5.0 percent to a five-month closing high.

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) spiked by 9.2 percent after Barclays upgraded its rating on the company's stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Significant strength was also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Networking and software stocks also saw considerable strength, while banking and transportation stocks turned in some of the best performances outside the tech sector.

The extended rally on Wall Street came even as traders looked ahead to the release of earnings news from a number of big-name companies this week.

Reports on durable goods orders, fourth quarter GDP, new home sales and personal income and spending are also likely to attract attention in the coming days.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, with several markets closed for Lunar New Year. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries continued to give back ground, extending the pullback seen over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.1 basis points to 3.525 percent.

Looking Ahead

Amid a lack of major U.S. economic data, trading on Tuesday may be impacted by reaction to the latest earnings news.

3M (MMM), General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Travelers (TRV) and Verizon (VZ) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results before the start of trading.

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