Stocks opened higher on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its sixth winning day in the past seven on optimism that Slovakia would reach a deal to expand the euro zone rescue fund.
Slovakian lawmakers were expected to ratify the rescue fund plan. The country's parliament failed to approve a deal on Tuesday as the opposition party abstained as a way to help topple the government. Slovakia is the last country in the 17-member currency zone left to approve it.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in, saying she expected full ratification by the European Union summit on October 23.
It's like no bad news, we get to go up as long as you don't see any horror stories, said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. At the moment it appears as if Europe has at least contained the crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 57.07 points, or 0.50 percent, to 11,473.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX><.INX> added 8.26 points, or 0.69 percent, to 1,203.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 21.68 points, or 0.84 percent, to 2,604.71.
Financials were among the best performers, with the KBW Bank index <.BKX> up 1.3 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co
But PepsiCo Inc
Liz Claiborne Inc
Later in the session, investors will also keep an eye on the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September 20-21 meeting, to be released at 2 p.m. EDT. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)