Wall St scores first rally of 2014; S&P ends 3-day drop
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - United States (US) stocks ended higher on Tuesday, snapping the S&P 500's three-day losing streak to give the benchmark index its first positive session of 2014.
A sharp decline in the US trade deficit and upbeat German data helped improve market sentiment as the data pointed to strengthening economic fundamentals in both the US and Europe.
"One way or the other, (the data) is all pointing to the story about how it might still be tough, but things are starting to point to better days ahead," said Mr Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
"Overall, if you look at the broader picture, it does feel like it means it is starting to move ahead." The S&P healthcare index, up 1 per cent, was the best performer among the 10 major S&P sectors, buoyed by a Deutsche Bank upgrade of UnitedHealth Group Inc to a "buy." Shares of UnitedHealth, a Dow component, gained 3.1 per cent to close at $76.51. Tenet Healthcare shares climbed 4.9 per cent to $46.10.