Stocks rose on Tuesday on hopes euro-zone officials were making progress on a package of measures to resolve a debt crisis as well as solid earnings from a host of retailers, including Wal-Mart.
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc gained 3 percent to $54.24 after earnings topped estimates as strong international growth offset a drop in U.S. comparable sales.
A meeting of euro-zone finance ministers in Brussels to iron out wrinkles in a 750-billion-euro rescue plan calmed investors and helped to curb fears the Greece debt crisis could spread.
It's still a mess, but they have a big plan to try and clean it up, said Richard Sparks, senior equities analyst, Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now the devil is in the details.
Saks Inc climbed 2.3 percent to $9.55 as the upscale retailer reported stronger-than-expected profit on a rebound in luxury spending. The Morgan Stanley retail index <.MVR> advanced 0.5 percent.
There is a lot of dispersion in the type of retailers that are reporting, the things they sell, but it's reflective of an improving economy, added Sparks.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 65.14 points, or 0.61 percent, to 10,690.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.02 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,143.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 7.61 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,361.84.
U.S. housing starts rose more than expected to touch their highest level since October 2008, but permits hit a six-month low. Also, the Labor Department said U.S. producer prices eased in April.
The PHLX Housing Sector index <.HGX> advanced 1.9 percent.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)