Dow component Coca-Cola Co rose 3.9 percent to $54.72 after it reported in-line quarterly profit as volume improved. But Electronic Arts Inc slid 8.6 percent to $15.98 and weighed on the Nasdaq after it warned fiscal 2011 earnings would miss expectations.
Speculation Greece could get help from the European Union underpinned the rise in stocks, boosting commodity prices and resource shares as the U.S. dollar weakened. Concerns over rising debt in some euro zone countries has sapped confidence from equity markets of late.
Rumors are swirling that (the European Union) is going to cause the Greek debt holders to take a haircut on some of their prices and shore up Greece, said Jeffrey Saut, Raymond James Financial chief investment strategist in St. Petersburg, Florida.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet was leaving a meeting of central bankers in Sydney early to attend a European Union leaders' summit. Even so, two ECB policymakers reiterated that Greece must get its own house in order as the European Central Bank cannot bail it out.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 130.90 points, or 1.32 percent, to 10,039.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 12.40 points, or 1.17 percent, to 1,069.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 21.81 points, or 1.03 percent, at 2,147.86.
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the industrial sector to attractive from in-line, saying the companies' share prices should catch up to an improving business environment. Caterpillar Inc gained 5.3 percent to $53.45.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)