Wall Street rises on tech strength; investors watch dollar

Reuters

U.S. stocks were higher on Tuesday, lifted by strength in technology shares, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were on track for a negative month in September.

Major indexes fluctuated between positive and negative territory, with analysts citing concerns about the strength of the dollar but also seeking bargains following Monday's decline.

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Tech shares rose 0.6 percent after eBay Inc announced a plan to spin off its PayPal unit. The stock rose 7 percent to $56.33 and was the S&P's top percentage gainer on the day, as well as the most actively traded Nasdaq name.

"EBay splitting in two was expected, but it is still a positive for the market, and it is helping with our slight bias to the upside today," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The U.S. dollar index rose 0.3 percent, off its peak of the session but still near four-year highs.

"The dollar can absolutely become a headwind to U.S. companies, and if a lot cite the dollar for weakness in sales, that could really translate to the stock market," Tuz said.

For September, the Dow is up 0.2 percent, the S&P is down 1 percent and the Nasdaq is down 1.4 percent.

For the third quarter, the Dow is up 1.8 percent, the S&P is up 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq is up 2.4 percent. Both the S&P and Nasdaq are on track for their seventh straight quarterly gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 56.7 points, or 0.33 percent, to 17,127.92, the S&P 500 was gaining 5.43 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,983.23 and the Nasdaq Composite was adding 10.49 points, or 0.23 percent, to 4,516.35.

Advancing issues were outnumbering declining ones on the NYSE by 1,543 to 1,392, for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,405 issues were falling and 1,121 advancing for a 1.25-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 10 new 52-week highs and 14 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 35 new highs and 74 new lows.