Stocks gained on Wednesday after software maker Oracle's results beat expectations and durable goods orders jumped unexpectedly, giving more hope that the economy is rebounding.
Investors awaited a statement from the Federal Reserve, due at around 2:15 p.m. EDT, for clues on how the U.S. central bank assesses the economy.
Technology shares rose after better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales from Oracle Corp
Shares of IBM
The Fed is widely expected to leave the benchmark fed funds rate at almost zero, but investors will hone in on its statement for clues on the central bank's economic outlook.
The policy statement is likely to say the economy is still mired in slow growth and inflation is not a problem, said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 55.40 points, or 0.67 percent, at 8,378.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 12.69 points, or 1.42 percent, at 907.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 38.48 points, or 2.18 percent, at 1,803.40.
New orders for durable goods, which are long-lasting U.S. manufactured products such as refrigerators and washing machines, increased by a much stronger-than-expected 1.8 percent in May, and the median price of new homes hit its highest level since December, even though sales slipped, economic data showed.
... There was a lot of concern about the economy and all of a sudden the economy shows some signs of life, and so does the market, Bittles said.
Although stocks rose sharply from early March through May, gains have stalled recently as investors sought signs the economy is recovering enough to justify the market's rally.
The broad S&P 500 index is up 34 percent from a 12-1/2-year closing low on March 9, it had soared as much as 40 percent during the spring rally.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)