Stocks edged higher on Wednesday as hopeful investors awaited the latest attempt by Greece to reach a deal on reforms in exchange for a new bailout.
The delays stirred European Union officials to warn Greece the euro zone could continue without the fiscally troubled nation, which needs a rescue package to avoid an unruly default.
They are pretty close on the debt talks, and it looks like the prime minister is getting the various members of his coalition in line (so) that they may actually get this done, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
These folks have been at it for a very long time. They have been fighting with this issue for about eighteen months, so they really do see this as, 'We have to get it right this time.'
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 10.03 points, or 0.08 percent, to 12,888.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 3.13 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,350.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 7.31 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,911.39.
In Europe, shares hit a new six-month high with cyclical stocks extending a strong run. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent.
Yields on Spanish and Italian government bonds fell on the belief a Greek deal could be consummated.
Walt Disney Co rose 0.9 percent to $41.31 and was one of the top boosts to the Dow a day after it reported quarterly profit that grew faster than expected.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corp surged nearly 12 percent to $175.78 after the clothing maker reporting better-than-expected results for the holiday quarter and raised its margin forecast.
Ingersoll-Rand Plc climbed 3.8 percent to $38.98 after quarterly results topped estimates, although sales fell.
McDonald's Corp shed 0.2 percent to $100.67 after January sales rose more than expected at its established restaurants across the globe.
Visa Inc, due later Wednesday, is expected to come in with a profit of $1.45 per share, up from $1.23 a year ago, helped by a rise in consumer spending in the holiday season.
Other companies due to report include Cisco Systems Inc and News Corp.
Cisco is expected to post a stable quarter, lifted by improving U.S. enterprise demand a year after the network equipment maker issued a weak outlook.
Investors will also eye Groupon Inc, coming with its first results as a public company, to see if the largest daily deal website makes its first quarterly profit. Groupon is expected to report earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $475 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of the 301 companies in the S&P 500 posting results, 60 percent topped expectations, tracking below recent quarters at this point of the reporting season.
Rambus Inc advanced 9.1 percent to $8.24 after the company reached a patent license agreement with Nvidia Corp and the companies settled all outstanding claims. Nvidia shares rose 3.7 percent to $16.32.
(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)