After opening higher, stocks continued a markedly strong day to close out Tuesday trading securely in the green.

While most sectors except telecom gained Tuesday, tech was the obvious standout. The tech SPDR ETF (XLK) pushed higher over 1% in earlier trading. Hardware and semiconductor names enjoyed the most pronounced gains. Dow components Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) led the blue-chip index Tuesday. All but a handful of the Dow's names were in the green by the market close.

Joining strong tech gains was the healthcare sector, which surged on stellar earnings from Medtronic (MDT) . The medical equipment company posted earnings of $1.07 per share for its fiscal second quarter on Tuesday, topping analyst expectations by eight cents. Medtronic tallied sales of $7.05 billion in the quarter, which also bested Wall Street's forecast.

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