Investing.com - A rally in the biotech sector send broader U.S. stock indices rising on Wednesday despite a weaker-than-expected report on retail sales.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.55%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.67%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose 1.02%.
The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 9.13% at 12.84.
Biotech and airline stocks rallied on Wednesday, which brought broader stock indices up with them, especially on sentiments that geopolitical fears haven't panned out.
While nerves remain on edge over conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq, military operations have calmed in recent sessions, which gave bottom fishers reason to snap up nicely-priced stocks.
Russia recently wrapped up military exercises on its border with Ukraine, while the U.S. has launched airstrikes to quell a Sunni insurgency, which brought in the buyers on Wall Street on Wednesday despite weak retail sales data.
The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. retail sales came in flat last month, disappointing market expectations for a 0.2% increase.
Core retail sales, which exclude auto sales, rose just 0.1% in July, below expectations for a 0.4% gain.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), up 2.88%, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), up 1.58%, and Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), up 1.47%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Dupont Fabros Technology Inc (NYSE:DFT), down 0.59%, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) Stores, down 0.27%, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which was up 0.02%.
European indices, meanwhile, ended the day higher.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 1.16%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.78%, while Germany's DAX rose 1.43%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.37%.
On Thursday, the U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
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