High-beta companies found on the Nasdaq tend to lead the market higher when sentiment is elevated. The strength of tech stocks is a bullish sign that investors believe in the economy.
Last year, the prevailing thought was that stimulus cuts by the Federal Reserve would push equities lower. Instead, U.S. equities rallied in December when the Fed began to reduce its monthly bond purchases as investors took the the central bank's move as a sign that policymakers were confident in the direction of the U.S. economy.
But then anxiety over emerging markets because of the prospects of higher U.S. interest rates and slowing growth in China led to broad selling across global assets.
There was widespread fear that economies in countries such as Turkey and India would crumble and their currencies would be devalued, but quick action from foreign central banks helped fend off the attacks.
This week, a solid bottom has formed under global equity markets, as Chinese data outperformed expectations, and Janet Yellen, the new Fed chair, calmed the market by saying she wouldn't change U.S. monetary policy.
China's trade balance came in well above estimates on Tuesday night, indicating that output was still strong in China's manufacturing and services sectors. That led to a bid higher in emerging-market assets, as a majority of revenue generated by developing countries comes from Chinese demand.