U.S. stocks advanced Thursday with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 hitting all-time highs as investors look ahead to the second day of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on U.S. economic and monetary policy.

Jason A. Weisberg of Seaport Securities discussed Bernanke's semi-annual address before Congress and the stock market’s reaction to the Fed chairman’s speech.

On the earnings front, stocks advanced early in the session after better-than-expected second-quarter earnings results from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The investment bank saw shares rise 4.6 percent to $27.77 in mid-day trade.

After the bell Wednesday, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) saw second-quarter earnings fall to 39 cents per share from 54 cents per share in the year-earlier period as revenue edged down to $12.8 billion from $13.5 billion a year ago. Shares of Intel fell 3.8 percent to $23.22.

International Business Machines (Nasdaq: IBM) earnings for the second-quarter beat forecasts and rose to 3.91 per share, from $3.51 per share in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $24.9 billion from $25.78 billion a year ago. At 1:45 p.m. Eastern, shares of IBM rose 1.8 percent to $198.07.

Ebay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) shares fell after the e-commerce company reported second-quarter earnings of 63 cents per share on revenue of $3.88 billion. Although results met expectations, the company issued weaker guidance for the third quarter. Shares plunged 6.5 percent to $53.60.

As of 1:47 p.m. Eastern Time, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 75.53 points or 0.49 percent, to 15,546.05. The S&P 500 rose 8.02 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,688.91. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.25 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3,611.24.