U.S. stocks traded higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining more than 50 points, as shares of Visa Inc. rallied 7 percent, boosting the blue-chip index. Meanwhile, investors weighed mixed corporate earnings from fast food chain McDonald's Corporation, soft drink maker Coca-Cola Co. and jet manufacturer Boeing Co.
In morning trading, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 51.24 points, or 0.29 percent, to 18,000.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 5.55 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,102.84. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 6.81 points, or 0.14 percent, to 5,020.91.
The Dow also got a boost after shares of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) leaped more than 7 percent after China announced it will open up its market for clearing domestic bank card transactions. The move would allow foreign credit card companies, such as Visa and Mastercard Inc., to have direct access to a market valued at $6.84 trillion last year. Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) rose 4.6 percent in morning trading.
Shares of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) rallied more than 4 percent Wednesday after the world's biggest fast-food company announced a new turnaround plan to be revealed early next month. McDonald's first-quarter earnings fell last quarter, driven by declining sales and a stronger U.S. dollar. For the first quarter, McDonald's earned $811.5 million, or 84 cents per share, on revenue of $5.96 billion compared with $1.2 billion, or $1.21 per share, on sales of $6.7 billion a year earlier.
Meanwhile, shares of Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) jumped 1.2 percent after the world’s largest beverage company reported its first quarterly sales gain in two years. Higher drink prices helped boost sales 1.3 percent to $10.7 billion.
However, shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) dropped 1.7 percent after the jet maker’s quarterly revenue missed forecasts, posting higher expenses for the 787 Dreamliner. Revenue last quarter came in at $22.1 billion, down from $22.5 billion a year ago. The company reaffirmed its full-year guidance for both earnings and revenue, and said it also delivered 184 commercial jets compared to 161 in the year-ago quarter.
Notable companies reporting earnings after the closing bell Wednesday include social networking giant Facebook Inc., semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc. and telecommunications provider AT&T Inc.
Crude oil traded mixed Wednesday after U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 5.3 million barrels from the previous week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
Following the report, West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, dipped 0.65 percent to $56.24 a barrel, for May 15 delivery, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, added 0.37 percent to $62.31 a barrel, for June 15 delivery, on the London ICE Futures Exchange.