A rebound in commodity prices lifted energy and materials shares on Wednesday, while strong earnings from Dell Inc
U.S. crude oil futures rose more than 3 percent to settle back above $100 a barrel as crude inventories unexpectedly fell. Chevron Corp
The rally has been led by the raw materials, which is linked to a rebound in some of the commodity prices, said Nick Kalivas, an analyst at MF Global in Chicago. The earnings were strong and breathed some life back into technology.
Also in the tech sector, microchip maker Analog Devices Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 70.31 points, or 0.56 percent, to 12,549.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 10.01 points, or 0.75 percent, to 1,338.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 29.75 points, or 1.07 percent, to 2,812.96.
Helping transportation stocks, U.S. railroad operator CSX Corp
CSX shares rose 1.9 percent to $75.21. The Dow Jones Transportation Average<.DJT> gained 1.6 percent.
Most Federal Reserve officials prefer to raise benchmark interest rates before selling assets when the time comes to tighten policy, minutes of their April meeting showed on Wednesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp
The S&P materials index <.GSPM> also gained 1.7 percent, boosted by mining company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
The Reuters/Jefferies CRB index <.CRB>, a broad measure of commodity performance, rose 2.3 percent. Before Wednesday's advance, the CRB index was down more than 9 percent for the month.
Recent soft economic data has put investors on the defensive, increasing uneasiness about the recovery's strength and sending the benchmark S&P 500 down 2.1 percent for the month. Data on Tuesday showed weakness in factory output and housing starts.
Through Wednesday, 471 of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings, with 69 percent posting results that beat Wall Street's estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)