Wall Street's main indexes rallied on Wednesday as investors piled into banking and technology sectors that have suffered sharp losses this week on concerns about the fallout from the Ukraine crisis, with sentiment lifted by a fall in oil prices.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading. Financials climbed 3.4% after declining 6.3% in the past four sessions as market participants fretted over the impact of Western sanctions on Russian banks, assets and individuals over its invasion of Ukraine.
The S&P 500 banks index added 4.5%, powered by a 5.4% rise in Bank of America.
Megacap growth stocks Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc , Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc, Meta Platforms and Tesla Inc gained between 1% and 2.6% to provide the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes.
Travel and leisure stocks surged the most. Carnival Corp and United Airlines Holdings climbed 9.6% and 9.8% respectively, after plummeting this week as soaring oil prices threatened a nascent recovery.
The energy sector was the sole decliner, down 3.4% as oil slipped below $125 following a sharp rally this week that helped it breach $130 a barrel.
Surging crude prices have rattled global markets, with investors worrying it could lead to higher inflation and slow economic growth when global central banks are looking to tighten monetary policies.
The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates at its March 15-16 meeting.
"We are in a period of extreme uncertainty on several fronts - Ukraine, energy, interest rates, and the economy," said Sean O'Hara, president at Pacer ETFs.
"When you put all that together, it's not surprising that one day you come to the conclusion that's going to work itself out and we buy on that rumor and then the next day, everybody thinks it's not going to work out so we sell on that theory."
Russia said it would achieve its goal of ensuring Ukraine's neutral status and would prefer to do that through talks. Moscow announced a new ceasefire in Ukraine to let civilians flee besieged cities, but there were only limited signs of progress.
At 9:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 577.24 points, or 1.77%, at 33,209.88, the S&P 500 was up 74.98 points, or 1.80%, at 4,245.68, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 279.68 points, or 2.19%, at 13,075.23.
General Electric rose 4.7% as the industrial company authorized a $3 billion share buyback program.
The CBOE volatility index, also known as Wall Street's fear gauge, fell for the second straight session.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.62-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 5.39-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 21 new lows.