U.S. stocks surged from three-month lows as energy and health-care shares paced a rebound, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recovering after the steepest selloff since September.
Equities spiked higher, reversing an early drop that sent the Nasdaq Composite Index toward a 14-month low. Energy companies jumped as crude rallied, with Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. gaining more than 4.3 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co. added 2.6 percent after its quarterly profit beat estimates amid lower expenses. Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. increased at least 2.5 percent to pace health-care’s rise.
The S&P 500 rose 1.4 percent to 1,916.95 at 12:46 p.m. in New York, after wiping out a drop in early whipsaw trading. The Nasdaq Composite Index reversed a slide of 1.2 percent to climbed 1.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 226.58 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,377.99. The Russell 2000 Index increased 1.1 percent after sliding into a bear market Wednesday. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 49 percent above the 30-day average for this time of the day.
The recovery accelerated earlier while Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard answered questions from reporters following a speech in which the policy maker, who was a vocal proponent of raising interest rates, sounded a more cautious tone. He said the latest decline in oil prices may delay the return of inflation to the central bank’s 2 percent target.