Stocks pushed modestly higher, buoyed by some better-than-expected earnings results from prominent companies like Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA). Investor sentiment was also boosted by some bullish guidance from retailers Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) and Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34.43 points, or 0.30 percent, to 11,671.88. The S&P 500 index rose 4.73 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,274.48. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.03 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,716.83.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) soared 7.09 percent after posting stronger-than-expected results.

However, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) fell 1.50, despite announcing that it start selling Apple Inc’s. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone.

European stock markets surged after Japan said it would purchase bonds issued to finance Europe's bailout fund.

Oil prices surged 2.36 percent to $91.36 per barrel.

Bonds slipped as the yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 3.34 percent.