By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 registered its largest one-day percentage gain in about two months on Thursday, with technology shares providing the biggest boost as equities continued to rebound along with bond yields.
All major sectors advanced at least 1%, and the S&P 500 technology index <.SPLRCT>, which was at the heart of the recent sell-off, climbed 2.4%.
The benchmark S&P 500 extended a rebound that began on Wednesday and closed near its high of the day. The index gained 4% from Wednesday's intraday bottom to Thursday's close.
Strategists said stock market futures strengthened heading into the day, and bargain hunters stepped in to snap up beaten-down shares.
"The overnight action was positive. That, along with the bounce back yesterday, gave us a nice tailwind coming into the market today, both for high-frequency traders who were buying the trend and also for bargain hunters who had seen stocks that were on the watchlist come down to a level that looked attractive," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
"So we've seen a lot of the tech names pop after they got hammered."
Advanced Micro Devices Inc <AMD.O> gained 16.2% after the chipmaker launched its second generation of processor chip and said that it had landed Alphabet Inc's <GOOGL.O> Google and Twitter Inc <TWTR.N> as customers.
Symantec Corp <SYMC.O> jumped 12.3% after sources said chipmaker Broadcom Inc <AVGO.O> was in advanced talks to buy the cybersecurity company's enterprise business. After the bell, Symantec confirmed the sale.
U.S. economic data pointed to a robust labour market as the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, allaying some worries about the potential for a recession and helping U.S. Treasury yields rise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 371.12 points, or 1.43%, to 26,378.19, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 54.11 points, or 1.88%, to 2,938.09 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 176.33 points, or 2.24%, to 8,039.16.
Better-than-expected export numbers out of China also helped offset recent U.S.-China trade war worries, while there was also some improvement in the country's yuan currency, whose slide over the weekend led to Wall Street's worst day so far this year on Monday.
On the down side, Kraft Heinz <KHC.O> sank after it pulled its full-year forecast and wrote down the value of several business units by over $1 billion.
Lyft Inc <LYFT.O> advanced 3.0% after the ride-hailing service raised its annual outlook and hinted at the end of its price war with Uber Technologies Inc <UBER.N>.
Uber, which reported earnings after the bell and has been a high-profile loser since its market launch this year, rose 8.2% during the session. The company reported revenue that missed analysts' estimates, sending its shares down 6.9% after the close.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.47-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.69-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 42 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 80 new highs and 96 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.08 billion shares, compared with the 7.2 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)