Stock Market Today: Stocks Gain as Apple, Twitter Surge

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock indices picked up some momentum in the final hour of trading to finish positive Wednesday, bolstered by the information technology sector, specifically stocks such as Apple (AAPL) Yahoo! (YHOO) and a handful of social media issues led by Twitter (TWTR) .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.32% to close at 17,068.71. The S&P 500 tacked on 0.36% to finish at 1,995.69. The Nasdaq increased 0.75% to 4,586.52.

Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. markets ended the trading day Wednesday:


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Apple popped 3.07% to $101 a day after its new product launches. Twitter jumped 4.54% to $52.91 after UBS upgraded the stock to "buy." Facebook (FB)   increased 0.99% to $77.43. LinkedIn (LNKD) advanced 0.99% to $231. Yahoo! gained 0.88% to $41.14 on bullish Alibaba news; the Chinese e-commerce giant has received enough orders for its initial public offering to cover the entire deal within just two days of its launch, people familiar with the IPO process told Reuters on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Sector rose 0.84%.

The consumer discretionary sector also was higher, stoked by deal news and headlines highlighting Target's (TGT) ambitious revival plans. Dollar General (DG) on Wednesday went hostile in its bid to buy rival Family Dollar Stores (FDO) . Dollar General took its offer directly to Family Dollar shareholders, launching a tender to buy Family Dollar at $80 a share. Family Dollar edged up 0.2% to $78.86. Dollar General rose 0.44% to $63.70.

Target's (TGT) new CEO Brian Cornell plans to double down on just a handful of departments like baby products and fashion, as the discounter works to bring shoppers back to its stores and better compete with online rivals, the Journal reported. Shares increased 1.76% to $61.95.

For most of the day, U.S. large-cap stock indices had been trading in tight ranges. The factors driving investors' skittishness were global uncertainties, marked by the approaching Sept. 18 Scottish independence referendum and the possibility of a global shift in interest rates.

"I think people are getting worried about Scotland saying 'yes, we want our independence' and the uncertainty that will surround that. You can almost say that it's the referendum that may have killed the bull," said Sam Stovall, U.S. equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

The Bank of England has hinted that it could raise rates sooner than expected amid concerns that the market has been underestimating the odds that a Federal Reserve rate hike could come sooner than later.

"Investors are beginning to worry that it's a global shift and that rates, except for Europe as a whole, might be seeing the start of their long, slow uphill climb. That's like a dark cloud hanging over investors mindsets right," Stovall remarked.

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.5% to $120.26. The United States Oil Fund (USO) was off 1.04% to $34.26.

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.1% month-over-month in July, below the forecast of a 0.5% increase, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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