Dow posts biggest gain since Nov 2020 as Wall St rebounds second day

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  • All sectors higher, led by gains in materials
  • Oil prices ease
  • Indexes: Dow up 2.5%, S&P 500 up 2.2%, Nasdaq up 1.6%

NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Dow on Friday registered its biggest daily percentage gain since November 2020 with the market rebounding for a second day from the sharp selloff leading up to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Oil prices fell below $100 a barrel, easing some concerns about higher energy costs, and all 11 of the major S&P 500 sectors ended up on the day. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also posted gains for the week.

Russian missiles pounded Kyiv and families cowered in shelters on Friday, a day after Russia unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two. read more

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Investors also were assessing news that Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a call that Russia was willing to hold high-level talks with Ukraine, according to China's foreign ministry. read more

Some strategists say stock-selling may have been overdone. The S&P 500 confirmed earlier this week it was in a correction when it ended down more than 10% from its Jan. 3 record closing high.

"It sure feels a lot more like we've really exhausted sentiment in this correction," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis, noting that economic fundamentals and corporate health remain favorable.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 834.92 points, or 2.51%, to 34,058.75, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 95.95 points, or 2.24%, to 4,384.65 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 221.04 points, or 1.64%, to 13,694.62.

For the week, the Dow was down 0.1%, the S&P 500 was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq was up 1.1%.

The West on Thursday unveiled new sanctions on Russia, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday the alliance was deploying parts of its combat-ready response force and would continue to send weapons to Ukraine. read more

Flags are seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, where markets roiled after Russia continues to attack Ukraine, in New York, U.S., February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

"In general, the sanctions are going to have some bite," but investors seem to be relieved that Washington dismissed the idea of going to war with Russia, said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco.

She said volatility should remain high in the coming days as events in Ukraine dictate market moves, but that focus eventually will turn back to the Federal Reserve and the outlook for interest rates.

Some strategists noted that the sanctions announced Thursday targeted Russia's banks but left its energy sector largely untouched.

Health care (.SPXHC) gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) climbed 5% after a U.S. judge ruled that the drugmaker's subsidiary can remain in bankruptcy, preventing plaintiffs from pursuing 38,000 lawsuits against the company alleging its baby powder and other talc products cause cancer. read more

The Cboe Volatility index (.VIX), Wall Street's fear gauge, ended down at 27.59.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.63-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and 66 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 12.47 billion shares, compared with the 12.1 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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Additional reporting by Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Sriraj Kalluvila and Cynthia Osterman

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