Stock market extends rally as tech, bank shares jump

Wall Street extended its rally to a fourth consecutive day Wednesday, as technology and bank shares carried stocks higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 253.04 points, or 1.03%, to 24,893.49. The S&P 500 rose 35.69 points, or 1.34%, to 2,698.63. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 130.10 points, or 1.86%, at 7,143.62. The Dow and S&P 500 returned to positive territory for the year.

Stocks have bounced back after suffering steep losses last week. Investors bid up stocks Wednesday despite a new report that revealed a faster rise in inflation than expected. Consumer prices climbed 2.1% in January, more than economists anticipated. Concerns over growing inflation and higher interest rates helped fuel the market’s recent sell-off.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hit a new four-year high of 2.92% in Wednesday trading. Gold, seen as a hedge against inflation, surged 1.8% to $1,354 an ounce.

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” continued its retreat. The VIX was down 23% in recent trading, slipping to 19.31 compared to its high of around 50 last week.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.41, or 2.4%, to $60.60 a barrel. Oil stocks contributed to Wednesday’s rally, as the energy sector advanced 1.5%. Technology names rose about 2%.

Financials also led the way higher, responding to higher bond yields. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) gained 2.3%.

Shares of Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) surged 15% after announcing that it hired Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol to lead the company.