U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors bet the upcoming earnings season and more merger activity will lift equities higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 39.13 points, or 0.32 percent, to 12,433.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 4.76 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1,337.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 15.33 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,806.52.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)