Wall Street rose on Wednesday after the Greek parliament approved austerity measures to avoid defaulting on its debt, but stocks were off their highs on profit taking after hefty gains this week.
Optimism about the plan's approval in Greece has pushed the benchmark S&P 500 to its best three-day performance in three months. The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX>, Wall Street's fear gauge known as the VIX, fell 8.1 percent to 17.62, its third straight decline.
With the S&P 500 up over 2 percent this week, there were signs of weakness in recent gainers such as technology. The index is also running up against a resistance level near its 50-day moving average at around 1,316.
It's profit taking after a huge move, said Dave Rovelli, a trader at Canaccord Adams in New York. But it's very curious as tomorrow's the last day of the month, and they usually try to dress them up, especially since it's the last day of the quarter.
Financials ranked among the best performers. Bank of America Corp
Lawmakers approved a five-year package of spending cuts, tax increases and state asset sales by a comfortable margin of 155 votes to 138 in a roll-call vote, handing a significant victory to embattled Prime Minister George Papandreou.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 62.21 points, or 0.51 percent, to 12,250.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.84 points, or 0.60 percent, to 1,304.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 4.80 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,734.11.
Commodity-related shares also moved higher as the euro rose and the U.S. Dollar Index <.DXY> fell against a basket of major currencies. Commodities often move inversely to the dollar as they are priced in the U.S. currency on international markets.
The PHLX OIl Service sector index <.OSX> gained 1.5 percent, buoyed by a 3.1 percent gain in Transocean Ltd
In other company news, BJ's Wholesale Club Inc
Economic data showed U.S. pending home sales rose a stronger-than-expected 8.2 percent in May, but a glut of unsold properties remained a drag on the housing market.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)