US stocks defied odds on Wednesday to close slightly positive.

The S&P 500 index climbed 3.77 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 1,297.54.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 67.39 points, or 0.56 percent, to end at 12,086.02.  The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.54 percent.

The market rallied from a deficit at the opening to end positive for the session despite another poor US housing report.  The Census Bureau reported at 8:30 a.m. EST that February new home sales declined 16.9 percent from the previous month to the slowest level on record. 

Meanwhile, oil futures settled at $105.75 per barrel as turmoil in the Middle East continues to rage on.

However, despite scares of the impact of radiation leakages, Japan’s nuclear situation has not deteriorated and progress has continued.  A number of prominent investors and analysts have expressed confidence in Japan’s economy and equities market.

The Nikkei 225 fell on Wednesday.  However, the decline was due to profit-taking after Tuesday’s massive 4 percent rally.

Moreover, several US mining companies like Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) (up 4.97 percent) and Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) (up 2.41 percent) surged on hopes that Japan’s eventual rebuilding efforts will spur great demand for raw materials.