Stocks extended gains on Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 index through a key technical resistance level at 875 and marking a 3-month intraday high for the broad based index.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 178.09 points, or 2.22 percent, to 8,195.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 20.42 points, or 2.39 percent, to 875.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 43.47 points, or 2.60 percent, to 1,717.28.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy)