Stocks rose on Wednesday after positive broker comments buoyed the industrial sector, while the falling dollar pushed up oil prices and shares of energy producers.

The S&P energy index <.GSPE> rose nearly 1 percent as crude oil futures climbed 1.7 percent. Commodities have helped propel equities higher in recent, with gold puncturing the key $1,000 level.

We're once again seeing commodities moving to the upside, helping to boost industrials related to that and energy and materials, said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial in Boston.

The weak U.S. dollar makes it cheaper to buy crude futures priced in that currency.

Investors have worried about what September, a typically dismal month for Wall Street, might bring for stocks, which have rallied since March. But gains over the past three sessions have pushed the S&P 500 index back up more than 50 percent from 12-year lows. If session gains hold, the index is on track to close at its highest level for the year.

As investors are coming back to work after their summer vacation, there was some question about what that new volume would mean for the market and so far, it's good news, said Kleintop.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 65.07 points, or 0.69 percent, to 9,562.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 8.16 points, or 0.80 percent, to 1,033.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> put on 23.45 points, or 1.15 percent, to 2,061.22.

United Technologies Corp gained 1.4 percent to $61.23 after Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the stock to $77 from $60. In the same sector, 3M rose 1.8 percent to $72.99.

Goldman upgraded the multi-industry sector to attractive from neutral, given the group's tendency for outperformance when the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index makes a sustainable move above 50. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The Nasdaq outperformed the other indexes as EBay Inc rose 4.1 percent to $22.72 after Bernstein raised its rating to outperform from market perform, and upped its price target to $28 from $24.

Boeing Co was the Dow's biggest lift after a senior executive said the aerospace giant expects global air cargo traffic to return to growth next year. Boeing jumped 3 percent to $50.94.

But McDonald's Corp limited gains on the Dow, falling nearly 2 percent to $55.22, after the hamburger chain reported a rise in sales at existing restaurants worldwide that missed some analysts' expectations.

In an encouraging sign for the ailing housing sector, mortgage applications surged last week, with demand rising to its highest level since late-May, data showed. A recovery in housing is seen as key to a sustainable economic rebound.

Investors will get a look at the state of the economy after the Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book, a summary of economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)