Stocks stayed in positive territory on Wednesday after securities regulators recommended an updated uptick rule proposal which would apply to all stocks.

The move is aimed at restricting short selling, a type of investing blamed by some lawmakers and executives for exacerbating the financial crisis and driving down share prices.

A report that the government would extend aid to life insurers and Pulte Homes'
announcement that it would buy rival home builder Centex in a $1.3 billion helped underpin sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 33.61 points, or 0.43 percent, at 7,823.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 4.50 points, or 0.55 percent, at 820.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 19.32 points, or 1.24 percent, at 1,580.93.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)