Stocks rose broadly on Wednesday as surprisingly strong durable goods orders and quarterly results from software maker Oracle reinforced the belief the economy was stabilizing.
Investors were also hopeful the Federal Reserve will give a more optimistic assessment of the economy when it concludes its two-day policy-setting meeting later Wednesday. A Fed statement is due after 2:15 p.m. EDT.
Data showed new orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods had a much stronger-than-expected increase in May.
Also, sales of new single-family homes slipped slightly last month, but the median sales price rose and was the highest since December.
The economic Armageddon that we were facing three months ago has moved out of the realm of possibility, said Todd Clark, managing director of stock trading at Nollenberger Capital Partners in San Francisco.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 93.48 points, or 1.12 percent, to 8,416.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 14.62 points, or 1.63 percent, to 909.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> put on 39.65 points, or 2.25 percent, to 1,804.57.
Though stocks have rallied sharply in the last three months, gains have stalled recently as investors fretted that the recovery will be weak. The broad S&P is up about 34 percent from a 12-1/2-year low in early March, although it had been up as much as 40 percent.
Technology shares buoyed the market after better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales from Oracle Corp
An additional spur came after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the economic outlook has improved for the first time in two years.
But the OECD noted soaring unemployment and ballooning budget deficits could knock a weak recovery off track, referring to its 30 member countries.
Morgan Stanley downgraded Boeing shares to equal-weight, saying it expects the first delivery of the Dreamliner to be delayed to 2011. [ID:nBNG544538] Boeing fell nearly 2 percent to $43.05.
Rite Aid Corp
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)