NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday as the technology sector rebounded after a week of market pressure.
The S&P 500 was up 1.7%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.5%, and the Nasdaq added 2.1%.
The Nasdaq enjoyed its best daily gain in three weeks as the tech sector rallied. Among the best performers, Google (GOOGL) - Get Report added 2%, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report was up 1.8%, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report climbed nearly 3%, and Intel (INTC) - Get Report rose 3.3%. The Technology SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report climbed 2%.
Manufacturing activity in Chicago fell sharply in September to its weakest reading since May. Chicago PMI fell to 48.7 over the month from 54.4 in August. Economists had expected a slight decline to 53. Chicago manufacturing has a strong correlation with the national ISM index which monitors the overall U.S. manufacturing sector.
Major benchmark indexes were on track for quarterly losses of around 9% after facing a range of worries over the past three months. Prime among them, China's devaluation of the yuan and further signs of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy that rocked markets since August. The performance is its worst since the third quarter of 2011 when the S&P 500 lost 14% as a Europe's debt crisis crushed global markets.
The U.S. economy added 200,000 private sector jobs in September, above expectations for an increase of 190,000. However, August's job gains were revised down to 186,000 from 190,000, according to the ADP jobs report. The official jobs report from the Labor Department will be released on Friday.
European markets moved higher even after fresh data showed the eurozone slipping into deflationary territory again. Inflation in September fell 0.1% across the eurozone despite the European Central Bank's stimulus program.
Asian markets closed in the green Wednesday after consumer sentiment in China improved to its highest level since 2014. The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator rose to 118.2 in September, its best reading since May last year.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) - Get Report shares were slightly lower after the company announced it will cut 15% of its work force. The energy producer also estimated that it will incur around $55.5 million in one-time charges over the third quarter.
Costco (COST) - Get Report fell 3% after the bulk retailer beat quarterly profit estimates and reported strong comparable-store sales. Sales in the U.S. rose 2%, or 6% excluding gas and foreign exchange, over the fourth quarter. Domestic strength offset weakness in Canada and other international markets.
Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Report climbed 6% after its namesake CEO and founder announced he was stepping down as chief executive. Gap's (GPS) - Get Report president of Old Navy, Stefan Larsson, will assume the role of CEO.
Western Digital (WDC) - Get Report added nearly 4% after China's Unisplendour agreed to take a 15% stake in the company in a purchase worth $3.8 billion. The deal values Western Digital shares at $92.50, a massive premium to the $69.37 closing price on Tuesday.
Advance Auto Parts (AAP) - Get Report rose 11% after hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed a 3.7% ownership stake. The firm said the auto retailer's share price could surge to $350, more than double Advance Auto Parts' Tuesday close. Starboard's stake makes it the sixth-largest shareholder.
Comsore (SCOR) - Get Report jumped more than 6% after agreeing to acquire audience measurement firm Rentrak (RENT) in an all-stock deal worth $732 million. The acquisition comes as both companies attempt to better evaluate what consumers are watching and how in order to effectively target advertising.
Diamond Foods (DMND) added 0.1% after a mixed fourth quarter. Quarterly profit of 23 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents, while revenue slid 8% to $201.81 million.