February 7, 2018 / 4:20 PM / 17 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street gains as volatility eases

* Volatility gauge, VIX, slips to 21.74

* Boeing top boost on Dow; Amazon lifts S&P

* Indexes up: Dow 1 pct, S&P 0.73 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct (Adds comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal and Sruthi Shankar

Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks overturned early losses to trade higher on Wednesday as some buyers returned to a market still shaking from a record fall for the Dow Jones Industrial Average earlier this week.

Gains in industrial and consumer discretionary stocks led advances on the S&P and the Dow.

Boeing rose 2.7 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow, while Amazon’s 1 percent rise helped lift the S&P 500.

At 10:53 a.m. ET (1553 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 249.57 points, or 1 percent, at 25,162.34. The S&P 500 rose 19.7 points, or 0.73 percent, at 2,714.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.64 points, or 0.37 percent, at 7,142.52.

The pivotal gauge of S&P 500 volatility, the VIX, opened at a relatively elevated 31 points and slipped to 21.24. The VIX on Tuesday hit a more than two-and-a-half year high above 50, after trading, on average, below 20 for months.

“We are concerned there’ll be more volatility. I’d characterize what we’ve seen over the last year as abnormal,” said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.

“Investors need to get ready for normal levels of volatility. That’s not bearish.”

Traders are still braced for more volatility as they try to figure out if the swings of the past few days are the start of a deeper correction or just a temporary blip in the U.S. market’s nine-year bull run.

A wild session on Tuesday had seen the Dow swing more than 1,100 points from peak to trough and ended with the benchmark S&P 500 recording its best day since just before President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

Trump, who has repeatedly praised Wall Street gains during his first year in office, on Wednesday dismissed recent market rout, saying stocks should not be falling amid strong economic news.

Some investors, however, fear the market is over-stretched in the context of higher inflation and rising bond yields as central banks withdraw their easy money policies of recent years. The recent rout has wiped about $4 trillion off world equities.

“The fundamentals in the United States look good but valuations are quite high in the equity space. The high valuation is going to be more of a challenge given rising rates,” said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist, North America for Russell Investments.

The S&P energy index was up more than 0.4 percent, led by Anadarko Petroleum’s 3.5 percent gain and an uptick in oil prices.

Wynn Resorts climbed about 10 percent after casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as the chief executive following sexual misconduct allegations.

Snapchat owner Snap soared 37 percent after it reported surging growth in users and revenue in its latest quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,028 to 802. On the Nasdaq, 1,670 issues rose and 1,099 fell. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Sruthi Shankar, additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur)

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