Stocks rose moderately higher, given a slight boost by a small upward revision to third-quarter GDP and an uptick in sales of existing homes.

Based on preliminary readings, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.95 points, or 0.23 percent, to 11,559.11. The S&P 500 rose 4.22 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,258.82. The Nasdaq composite index gained 3.87 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,671.48.

The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy expanded by an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the third quarter, just above the prior 2.5 gain forecast. However, analysts had expected the growth figure to rise to 2.8 percent.

The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously-occupied homes climbed 5.6 percent in November to an annualized rate of 4.68 million.

Regional banks were boosted by the proposed acquisition of Whitney Holding (Nasdaq: WTNY) by Hancock Holding (Nasdaq: HBHC)

Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) surged 5.48 percent after posting revenue and earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Bond prices fell as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.35 from 3.30 late Tuesday.

Oil futures rose 0.81 percent to $90.55 per barrel, a two year-high. Gold futures fell slightly.