Investing.com - Stocks started the day higher Wednesday as bargain-hunters came out following the plunge seen on a holiday-shortened Christmas Eve.
The Dow rose 0.3%, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.8%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.2%.
Monday was the fourth-straight session the market fell, with the benchmark S&P ending at a 20-month low and 19.8% below its closing high, just shy of the 20% threshold commonly used to define a bear market. The Dow is off 18.9% from that level, while the Nasdaq is pushing deeper into bear market with each day's declines.
The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government, one of the recent factors that has unnerved investors, entered the fifth day. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the shutdown will last until his demand for funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is met.
"In addition to concerns towards the U.S. economy, the markets are now having to grapple with growing turmoil in the White House which has raised political risk ahead of the year-end," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
Among active stocks Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) traded up 2.9% as the company said it logged a record-breaking holiday season with more items ordered worldwide than ever before.
Target (NYSE:TGT) rose 1.5% and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) gained 1% as data from Mastercard SpendingPulse showed that retail sales grew 5.1% during the holidays, its best performance in six years.
And Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) rose 1% amid news that Israel will give the company a 700 million shekel ($185 million) grant for a planned $5 billion expansion of its production operations in the country.
-- Reuters contributed to this report.