US stocks finished in the green on Tuesday for a third straight session, buoyed by Amazon.com and Apple, ahead of highly anticipated data on US inflation due out on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.16% to end at 24,640 points, while the S&P 500 gained seven points to close at 2,663. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.45% to 7,014.
The S&P 500 shook off its negative start and ended in a positive territory after Amazon.com (AMZN.O) rose 2% and Apple (AAPL.O) advanced 1%.
Investors are now focused on the US consumer prices and retail sales due out on Wednesday. It is believed that the data will be the key in determining the direction of stocks in the short term.
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, a voting member in the central bank’s rate-setting committee this year, said the recent stock market sell-off and jump in volatility will not damage the economy’s overall strong prospects.
Among the biggest movers was sportswear retailer Under Armour (UAA.N), up more than 17.36% on strong quarterly sales, and AmerisourceBergen (ABC.N), up 9.30% after the Wall Street Journal reported Walgreens (WBA.O) was seeking to buy out the drug distributor.
Healthcare companies, Henry Schein (HSIC.O) and Patterson Companies (PDCO.O), fell 6.64% and 5.19%, respectively, after news of a US Federal Trade Commission complaint against the dental supply firms.
PepsiCo Inc. finished the session up 0.4% after the company reported fourth-quarter results that showed a decline in beverage and snack sales, though the company also raised its dividend and announced a new buyback program.
General Motors Co. lost 1.4% on the day after the auto maker said it would close an auto plant in South Korea, affecting 2,000 workers and leading to a charge of $850 million.
In Asia, share markets traded mixed on Wednesday in morning session despite the slightly firmer lead from Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.13%, while across the Korean Strait, the Kospi advanced 0.97%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.05%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.62%, while on the mainland, The Shanghai composite was lower by 0.03%.