U.S. stocks and other global risk assets traded higher on Wednesday on more good news out of Europe.

The S&P 500 Index rallied 7.78 points, or 0.66 percent, to trade at 1,203.41 at 9:38 a.m. ET.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.89 points, or 0.43 percent, to trade at 11,465.19.  The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.80 percent.

 The euro is up over 150 pips against the U.S. dollar since 10:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 12.

European Commission President Jose Barroso, speaking in Brussels, publicly called for decisively policy response to help Greece and European banks.

Confidence can be restored through an immediate deployment of all the elements needed to solve the crisis. Only in this way we will be able to convince our citizens, our global partners and the markets that we have the solutions that measure up to the challenges all economies are facing, he said, reported Reuters.

U.S. investors are also encouraged by hope that Slovakia will pass the proposed expansion of the Eurozone bailout fund European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

Robert Fico, head of the Slovakia's opposition party Smer, indicated he was willing to strike a deal with Prime Minister Iveta Radicova to pass the expansion.

Third quarter U.S. earnings started off mixed.  Late Tuesday, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reported disappointing results and its shares are down 3.11 percent.  PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), however, exceeded expectations and its shares jumped 3.07 percent.