Stocks rose slightly following strong results from Hewlett-Packard Co. and a gain in the price of oil boosted energy companies which encouraged bargain investors to trade before the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting.
Hewlett-Packard released a 28 percent rise in profit, which lifted the financial outlook. HP shares rose 42 cents to $49.87, and other technology companies, like Google Inc. and Apple Inc., saw greater gains. Google Inc. rose $25.04, or 4 percent, to $650.89. According to Credit Suisse Group, Google shares may climb to $900 in the next year following the company's decision to spread out to mobile device marketing and Web display advertising.
Ahead of the release of the Fed minutes, investors had mixed readings on the housing market and consumer strength. A Commerce Department report showed that housing starts unexpectedly rose in October after hitting their lowest level in about 15 years in September, but building permits declined more than what economists anticipated.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 16.56, or 1.2 percent, to 1,449.83 at 11:13 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125.27, or 1 percent, to 13,083.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 40.24, or 1.6 percent, to 2,633.62. About five stocks gained for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.