Stocks rose on Wednesday as a broker upgrade of Caterpillar lifted big manufacturers, while biotechnology shares got a boost from better-than-expected results from Gilead Sciences.
Positive comments from company executives about the state of the global economy after a mixed bag of first-quarter results offset recent pessimism about the state of corporate profits.
Gilead Sciences Inc
The market is looking ahead here to eventual economic stabilization and recovery and ignoring what happened in the first quarter as history, even when it's worse than expected, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
A little bit (of positive news) from some companies in their guidance where the tone is certainly not as bad -- the tone is cautious but optimistic.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 68.02 points, or 0.85 percent, to 8,037.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 9.81 points, or 1.15 percent, to 859.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> pushed up 30.49 points, or 1.85 percent, at 1,674.34.
Home builder shares rose after data showed the prices of single-family homes were up in February. The Dow Jones home builders index <.DJUSHB> jumped 5 percent, and Pulte Homes Inc
Among the heavy-hitters reporting results on Wednesday, AT&T Inc
Wall Street recovered initial losses as financial shares reversed course to push higher. Wells Fargo & Co
But Morgan Stanley
Banks have helped lead the six-week rally that sent the broad S&P 500 up more than 26 percent from March's bear market lows.
On the downside, Exxon Mobil Corp
Exxon fell 1.4 percent to $65.31, and Chevron was down 0.6 percent to $64.52.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; additional reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)